book reviews

Great Reads from NetGalley

Here are four more great novels you won’t want to miss that I got from the wonderful NetGalley:

  1. Hard Shot–hard-charging Reznick ends up the only guy who can stop two terrorists from killing cops
  2. House on Fire–If you like Elvis Cole or Travis McGee, you’ll love this Nick Heller series
  3. Exit Fee--Pike Logan and girlfriend Jennifer do their magic and save a corner of the world, again
  4. The Finders–Vira is an exceptional cadaver dog even as a pup. She can perform as no other working dog can.
–received free from NetGalley in return for an honest review
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

by J. B. Turner


In this seventh in the Jon Reznick series, Hard Shot (Thomas and Mercer 2019), Jon Reznick tries to take a brief vacation from work to take his daughter to a July 4th baseball game in New York City and ends up in the middle of a terrorist attack as a sniper picks off police outside of the ball park. Reznick bundles his daughter into a cab with instructions to return to their hotel and chases down the two snipers, killing both. After managing to convince the police that he wasn’t involved, merely lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and smart enough to act quickly, he becomes part of a small FBI team that is tracking down the killers, how they knew what they shouldn’t, and how to stop them.

I’ve read all of the Jon Reznick series. While this one seems a little slower than the frantic never-quit pace of the others, maybe more analytical of the process and thoughts of the characters, it is a good read. I like the hints at a love interest for Jon, something we haven’t seen before. Overall, it is well worth the time in excitement and entertainment.

House on Fire

by Joseph Finder


In this latest Nick Heller detective story, House on Fire (Penguin 2020), Nick, a former Special Forces operative who is now a private investigator, is hired by the heir to a pharmaceutical fortune to expose her father (the owner of the company) as knowing their most popular drug. Oxydone, as a massively addictive opioide pain killer–worse than heroine–and that he hid this from regulators because of the huge profits he would make from its release. Her intention is to blackmail her father into setting up rehab centers for those addicted and help them recover. She tracks Nick down by following him to the funeral of a Special Forces friend who died from an overdose of Oxydone, leaving behind a wife and two children. Nick agrees to take the case and does such a brilliant job of unraveling the clues, he finds out details the daughter had hoped to keep hidden.
As usual with a Joseph Finder novel, the story starts at a speed that requires a seat belt, a shoulder harness, and probably a prayer and never quits. Nick is a moral, hard-working PI who is also extremely clever. It’s a joy to watch him uncover clues and then stitch them together to reveal the whole picture. He reminds me a lot of gumshoe detectives like McDonald’s Travis McGee and Crais’ Elvis Cole. For me, that’s huge. I don’t love every novel Finder writes but I did love this book as well as every one in the series.

Exit Fee

by Brad Taylor


In this Pike Logan story, Exit Fee (William Morris 2019), Pike and Jennifer are struggling to figure out how to raise Amena, the girl they rescued from an impoverished and dangerous life in Syria and brought back to America. She is used to a lot of freedom and Pike knows freedom won’t work well when Amena is still in the US illegally (as he straightens out her paperwork). She runs away while the three of them are out shopping one day and is kidnapped by a Slavik man who turns out to be a sex trader. Of course, Pike wastes no time going after her. Following the tiniest of threads, he ends up in the midst of a major sex trafficking operation that involves not only Amena but many other underage abused girls. And it’s not only sex trafficking.

Despite that Amena fled because she thought Pike and Jennifer were overprotective, now she relishes that they will stop at nothing to find her:

“Jennifer and Pike … were a wrecking machine.”

The story starts fast (as do all Pike Logan stories) and never quits. While I’ve read most of the earlier stories in the series this novella stands alone–no need to read the earlier stories.

The Finders

by Jeffrey Burton


The Finders is the first in Jeffrey Burton’s new series, Mace Reid K-9 Mystery. It starts at the beginning of Mace’s relationship with Vira, when she is abandoned at nine weeks and scheduled to be euthanized. There’s something about her that makes Mace save her and train to be a cadaver dog, in support of Mace’s growing business in the assistance of the Chicago PD and their Canine Training Center. From the beginning, it’s clear Vira is indeed special. She learns quickly, can mimic many skills, and when she begins going on jobs, she is as good as any cadaver dog Mace has ever had. It’s as though she has special powers to find the bad guys, well beyond the ability to track by scent. When she attacks what at first appears to be an innocent bystander, in the crowd of people watching the police work a murder, Mace won’t quit until he proves that she actually sniffed out the killer, doing the job she was trained to do. In the process of proving this, Mace is attacked by the man’s son and ends up killing him as he tries to save his life and Vira’s. That puts both Mace and Vira in the crosshairs of another psychotic killer who considered this boy like the son he never had. The question is, will Vira, with her exceptional abilities, and Mace, with his uncompromising belief in his new cadaver dog, survive the onslaught of this vicious psychopath?

I love dog stories so I was pulled into the story quickly. I was intrigued when for much of the early pages, I couldn’t tell the sex of Mace. He was simply an androgynous professional doing his job and loving his life.

Overall, this is a wonderful read, quickly consumed, and hard to put down. It is fast moving with lots of unexpected twists and turns. If you love working dog stories (such as Margaret Mizushima’s K-9 Mysteries and Sara Driscoll’s FBI K-9), you will love this book. It respects dogs as working animals, doing their jobs, and acting as part of a team. It never treats them as pets or weak or needy. I’d highly recommend this for those who love animal stories.

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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

36 thoughts on “Great Reads from NetGalley

  1. Jacqui, four terrific reviews of all intense and action-packed books. I’m smiling how The House on Fire “starts at a speed that requires a seat belt, a shoulder harness, and probably a prayer” and then never quits! Many thanks for all your recommendations. I also like your reviewing policy notice – I feel just the same!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Great Reads from NetGalley — WordDreams… – ABC Bazar

  3. Hi Jacqui – they sound like great reads … and I hadn’t heard of the authors. Just wish I had time to read and revel in fiction and enjoy it when I did – and I’m sure I’d learn about so much … but I seem to get ‘stuck’ in more serious reads – still I’m reading! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

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