book reviews

Book Reviews: 3 Thrillers from NetGalley

I lucked out with Netgalley and got three great thrillers for free (in return for my honest review):

  • Pacific Homicide– deals with a murder case and the detective tasked with solving it
  • Right to Kill–centers around a former military/government guy who uses his unique skillset to help a friend in need.
  • Robert B. Parker’s Revelation–the US Marshall in an old western town tracks down escaped convicts and brings them to justice


Pacific Homicide: A MysteryPacific Homicide: A Mystery

by Patricia Smiley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Patricia Smiley’s Pacific Homicide (Midnight Ink 2016), Detective Davie Richards is an LAPD homicide detective–Pacific Division, second-generation with LAPD and newly-promoted from police work where she had a kick-ass reputation for getting the job done. Only one month into the job, she gets her first case as the lead when a woman is found dead in the city’s sanitation system. With little left of the body, Davie must identify her, find out where she entered the sewer system, and then figure out why someone killed her.

Davie is a talented detective with a knack for seeing between the lines and wastes no time getting started, but she already has political enemies who care less about solving this heinous murder than stopping her. They’re actually her father’s enemies, from his last LAPD assignment which ended in him narrowly escaping being forever labeled a dirty cop. His ultimate innocence embarrassed the attorney accusing him of the crimes who is now in charge of overseeing police-related shootings, where Davie already has a case brewing. He sees an opportunity to get even with the man who embarrassed him by putting away the man’s daughter. While Davie hard-charges toward a resolution to her murder case, this politically-connected boss puts a case together against her that could put her in jail while a killer escapes.

The story is fast paced with well-developed characters that are likable and interesting. Smiley includes plenty of details on how the LAPD handles murder. This is recommended for anyone who loves detective procedurals.

–received this book for free in return for an honest review

Right to Kill (Nathan McBride, #6)Right to Kill

by Andrew Peterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Andrew Peterson’s “Right to Kill” (Thomas & Mercer 2016), sixth in the Nathan McBride series, Linda Gennekin (LG) is the retired chief of Latin American operations, living a peaceful life with her husband and two dogs, but the classified information in her head “…could cost lives and topple governments.” Which explains why she uses Nathan McBride to kit out her home with the world’s most thorough security system, including not only motion detectors but thermal imaging. On top of this extreme security, LG is a woman not to be trifled with:

“…pound for pound, LG was one of the toughest human beings on the planet… she’d successfully completed every type of field mission known to the Agency. She possessed survival training in all environments, held black belts in multiple fighting arts, and could fire everything from a pellet gun to a TOW anti-tank missile.”
“Physically and mentally, she possessed everything needed to defend herself. … The simple fact was, once activated, she became an efficient killer.”

When her house is attacked, Nathan McBride and his partner, Harv Fontana, come to her defense and find themselves pitted against a massive group of highly-trained and equipped pros with ties to a particular operation in LG’s past. They escape with their lives, but LG’s husband isn’t as lucky. Instead of crumbling, she joins Nathan and Harv as they go after the murderers–the Twins, assassins-for-hire to some of the baddest of the bad in Latin America.

Woven into the main story are intriguing subplots that add depth to the characters and layers to the drama. For example, LG’s husband was kidnapped by the Twins and LG rescued him. Another: Nathan was captured and tortured almost to death by the same duo before Harv rescued him. And finally: To connect this crime to several seemingly related incidents, the government uses a complex algorithm:

“It analyzes tens of millions of pieces of information. It collects intel from our agents and sources and similar agencies worldwide, then looks for follow-up law-enforcement intel or criminal activity at those locations. Ranging from countries and cities, down to street-level addresses, it plots the last known locations of people we suspect, people we’re watching, and people we know for certain are up to no good. Everything’s displayed on a giant wall of monitors like newsrooms have.”

This story is clever, fast-paced, and complicated. Be forewarned: It’s heavy on murder and mayhem. You’d never call it a cozy, but it’s less graphic than some I’ve read. And it includes one of the longest chase scenes I’ve ever seen–as part of one of the longer scenes I’ve ever read. Overall, an excellent read.

–received this book for free in return for an honest review

Robert B. Parker's RevelationRobert B. Parker’s Revelation 

by Robert Knott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Based In The Wild West of guns, horses, marshalls, and lawlessness, this is the story of two US Marshalls who go after a group of outlaws who broke out of prison. This is a time in America’s past when there weren’t enough lawmen, travel was slow getting from here to there and messages were sent by ‘soundboards’ which is like telegraph. Still, the human brain is clever and these two marshalls out-think and out-fight their adversary, though not without problems.

In a parallel plot, we see the jailbreak and what comes next through the eyes of one of the convicts. He’s smart, patient, driven, and definitely has a goal that’s rooted far in the past.

The setting is authentic with plenty of period details that make readers feel at one with the story. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Westerns, but had I known how good this book was, I would have picked it long ago.

–received this book for free in return for an honest review

View all my reviews

More thrillers:

Tier One

The Temporary Agent

First Strike

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for Summer, 2017. Click to follow its progress.

34 thoughts on “Book Reviews: 3 Thrillers from NetGalley

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Cuban Affair | WordDreams...

  2. Three excellent reviews, Jacqui. I must admit when you mentioned old town western about Knott’s book at the beginning I wavered and doubted I would be interested…however, your review is terrific and I am now intrigued – sounds like a great read. All three such good thrillers! Yikes, what is one to do!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you, Annika. I picked it off of Netgalley based on the strength of Robert Parker’s name–definitely didn’t look closely enough! Since I got it for free, I felt a commitment to read and review–I’m glad I did.

      Liked by 1 person

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