Book Review: Coordinates For Murder (Geocache Series Book #1) by Darren Kirby

coordinates for murder

Coordinates For Murder (Geocache Series Book #1) by Darren Kirby

A Thriller/Horror Novel published on amazon.com (02/18/2012)

 

Summary:

 Sammy and John are two friends who are in to geocaching. They plan a camping trip out into the woods to find a new cache – a multi-cache – but when they find the first part they are surprised by something they have never seen before. After following the series of caches deeper and deeper into the woods, they get so much more than they bargained for. They find the Woodsman, a sick creep bent on their destruction. Scenes of torture full of blood, gore, and horror-type things occur. Tied up and bleeding, will Sammy or John get out of the lair of the Woodsman’s elaborate setup?  They were the first to find. They might be the first to die.

 

Keywords:

Hiking, Woods, GPS, Murder, Torture, Psychopath, Thriller, Geocaching

 

My Review:

REVIEW BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

The start of this book was promising. Sammy is a fun character who likes to mess around with his landscaping crew. There is a fun action sequence to start the book off on its toes, creating a mild amount of tension and creating a fun atmosphere. The dialogue was interesting and light. The characters were shown through their actions and words. The reader got to see a fun competition.

The title of the book contains the word ‘geocaching.’ The description is of a dashing cache hunt and a daring hope for escape and rescue. The real description should account for the miles of lost words describing John getting lost in a cave and the overlong scenes depicting the mad Woodsman’s maniacal torture. The author does a great job with these sicko scenes, but it was not what I was looking for nor what I thought the book was going to contain as it wasn’t in the book’s description.

There is something wrong with the Woodsman. The reader is not given much information into who he is or where he came from. The reader gleans from his actions and what he says that the reason he does what he does is because he is -presumably- a psychopath. He is only described as a large muscled man. He has a peculiar way of speaking, an intriguing bit of slang to make me think there is more going on than we are told. The author gives us a glimpse of this enemy early on and he is accompanied by a shorter companion who disappears immediately after with no indication of why this happened or where he went.

There are several plot inconsistencies that had me confused. Why wouldn’t the two boys take one vehicle to get to the campsite? If the Woodsman could find something lethal in the lair, why couldn’t Sammy? Why would the boys think there might be another cache when they’re in the middle of nowhere?

One of my chief criticisms is the boys’ lack of fear or any emotion similar. From the very initial creepy part, they are not at all worried or afraid or reticent to continue. When they meet the Woodsman they are not afraid, they only react to what he does. I’m sure they must be afraid, but the author never describes their fear it or tells us how they are afraid.

For me the ending was unsatisfying. Was this a series I didn’t know about? So many questions to answer, but even if it were a series I wouldn’t want to continue reading.

 

This novel was published through Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 02/18/2012 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 2.50

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Smashwords

Book Review: The Heist by Shaun Jeffrey

heist

The Heist by Shaun Jeffrey

A Thriller Novel published by Deshca Press (02/05/2013)

 

Summary:

The Heist opens with a high stakes robbery at a theme park, resulting in the deaths of 87 innocents when the gang leader blows up a roller coaster as the robbers escape. Months later the lead investigator in the robbery/murder case Kurt Vaughn is out for a nice family day in the park with son and wife when they are all unwillingly thrust into the gang leader’s newest plan.

 

Keywords:

Heist, GPS, Murder, Deranged, Thriller, Geocaching, Puzzles, Multicache, Investigation

 

My Review:

I picked up this novel because it involved geocaching and I wasn’t disappointed. There was a multi-cache with some cool puzzles and interesting hiding places. The author used some of the more clever points of geocaching, although technically only one geocache was involved. This story was like the geocache version of Dan Brown’s clever clues in The Da Vinci Code.

For such a simple story, at approximately 24k words, it was quite intriguing and the author kept the tension throughout, climaxing in an exciting hold-your-breath way and ending just the way I wanted. There were a few plot holes and inconsistencies, but they didn’t detract from the thrilling plotline. This could have been a longer story had the author filled in details between the heist and the time we meet Kurt and his family, but I thought the novel worked quite well just as it was.

 

This novel was published by Deshca Press 02/05/2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.25

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Shaun Jeffrey’s Website

Book Review: Deadly Accounts (Agent Nora Wexler Mysteries) (Volume 1) by C.R. Wiley

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Deadly Accounts (Agent Nora Wexler Mysteries) (Volume 1) by C.R. Wiley

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (07/14/2014)

 

Summary:

Agent Wexler is new on the job, her aim at the range may not always be accurate, but she has confidence aplenty in her job as an FBI agent taking down the bad guys. Starting out her new career busting an internet perp who was harassing a woman online from New York, she soon is pulled to a crime so complex it’ll have them running in circles trying to find out who-dun-it. Up and down Seattle, Nora Wexler and her partner, the handsome war vet Travis Greer, will try to solve the future crime and murder of a lovely unassuming Seattle business owner. Every twist and turn of this story will keep the agents and readers guessing as more and more victims and suspects are pulled into the plot.

 

Keywords:

 Thriller, Cyber Crime, Identity Theft, Seattle, FBI, Female Main Character, Murder, Powerful Women

 

My Review:

Novels that show a great complexity and depth like this one keep the reader on their toes. True to the thriller genre, Deadly Accounts dishes up tension throughout every scene, and C.R. Wiley raises the stakes like a pro. Wiley gives us just enough characters to follow and a level of plot with enough subplots to throw us off the track while at the same time keeping us invested in the characters.

I thought it was an interesting technique to switch perspectives almost every chapter between the main character Nora Wexler and her partner agent Travis Greer, which allowed the story to open up in ways that sticking to one voice wouldn’t have. Travis gives us the seasoned agent’s perspective while Nora gives us the agent who has to prove herself and rise above the FBI’s glass ceiling. Nora is still the main character and I’m glad the story focused on her because she is an exhaustingly amazing character to follow. She is confident, but not egotistical. She doesn’t fall into the traps of a woman in a position of power. She is sturdy and strong and is able to pull out bravery and gumption when needed without jumping – too much – headlong into danger. She is a rookie after all, so everything can’t always go right for her, which is what makes for the great story.

Being a female FBI, especially a new agent, puts Nora in a unique position and shows the struggle females can have as law enforcement agents in the United States. Nora says so herself,

“You might think it wouldn’t , but you’d be wrong,” she said. “That’s the difference between you and me. If you make a mistake, you’re just having a bad day. If I make a mistake, suddenly there’s something wrong with my judgment and I can’t be trusted to make rational decisions. That’s part of the reason why women only make up twenty percent of FBI agents. I always knew it would be difficult to get in and get some respect for myself, but I didn’t think I’d blow it this early.” (Page 126).

Nora doesn’t let this fact get to her, or the fact that if she makes a mistake, she’ll be pulled back to a desk job and off the front line.

A good thriller is one that presents a plausible situation today and C.R. Wiley delivers. The perp in the book utilizes cyber technology to hack into people’s identities and to maneuver silently around the city. The agents must use their own skills against him and the way they do is so clever. In today’s world identity theft is a real threat and to pair that with murder makes for a downright scary situation. If the theif and murderer isn’t caught while the case is hot and the potential victim is still alive, he will disappear forever through the lives and identities of anyone. Wiley brings this fact up again and again to raise the stakes and create an exciting must-read novel that I would recommend to anyone who likes thrillers with a bit of mystery and murder that feature an up and coming female FBI agent.

This novel was published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 07/14/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 4.25

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: Cache a predator by M. Weidenbenner

cache a predator

Cache a Predator by M. Weidenbenner

A Thriller/Mystery Novel published by Random (01/07/2014)

 

Summary:

Young cop Brett will do anything for his five-year old daughter Quinn. If that means violating the protective order his ex-wife Ali took out on him, he’ll do it. If that means proving to the courts that Ali is an incompetent mother to gain full custody of Quinn, he’ll try to be patient and maintain his temper to do it. Brett’s fight to protect Quinn is made more complicated when they are both thrown in the middle of a crime where a vigilante is gruesomely targeting sex offenders: by hiding their wankers in local geocaches.

Keywords:

Vigilante, Sex Abuse, Thriller, Geocaching, Predators, Cop Father, CPS

 

My Review:

Cache a Predator has everything a thriller needs to make a fast-paced read that will pull at your heartstrings. I couldn’t put the book down. The characters are compelling and complex, with real motivations. Quinn will make you want to save her. Brett will bring you to his side. Ali will tug at your sympathy even as you want her daughter to be taken away from her care. The vigilante will make you take a second look at sex abuse victims… and make sure your door is locked. As this is a thriller with a who-dun-it context, I thought that by paying attention to every character I could figure out the ending, but it turns out the author was a lot more clever than I was and was able to surprise me with the climax.

The intro was setup in an intriguing way. Almost from the very beginning I knew what happy ending I wanted to see, where all ends would be tied sweetly together. I’m sure you’ll have some of the same yearnings, but you’ll have to read to find out if it all turns out the way you expect and desire.

This book blew all my expectations out of the water and although I picked it up for the geocaching element, I was not let down when I found out there was very little geocaching involved because the book was so thrilling and very well written. My only comment would be to cut out the last chapter.

 

This novel was published by Random 01/07/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TLDR Star Rating: 5.0

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18192713-cache-a-predator

Website: www.randomwritingrants.com