Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Suspense Reviews

In Under the Cajun Moon, the author has done it again. She drops the reader into a fresh locale -- New Orleans -- and completely had me there. And it had a different feel to other books I've read set in that locale. Chloe Ledet is called home to New Orleans after her father is shot in a remote bayou area. The next morning she finds herself smack in the middle of a murder scene -- with no memory of what happened. Then that murder leads to another murder and Chloe is running to find answers and stay alive. Fortunately, she isn't alone. She has a Cajun friend to help her find more than the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- and the clash of cultures. The book had high tension, but also moments of humor that kept the mood from getting to dark and heavy. And there was more than just a mystery to solve. Romance, family conflict and more.

Through the Fire is the debut release from Shawn Grady. There is much to like, even love, about this book. A firefighter from Reno, Nevada, Shawn writes what he knows.

Aidan O’Neill is a firefighter who’s either overconfident or has a death wish as he races from fire to fire taking risks that sometimes get others injured. Add a rash of arson fires that noone can solve but leaves the brass and the public demanding answers. Aidan wonders what happened to his gift to read fire at a time when the city needs it and him.

The author pulled me into the fire fighter life. In the scenes at the fire station or fighting fires, I was completely planted in the environment. There were enough details to make it feel real, without bogging down. I could easily imagine the firehouse, the trucks, even smell the smoke and taste the fear of being surrounded by the flames. There is a hint of romance, a layer of faith, and plenty of great supporting characters.

There was one part of the book that almost became a stopper for me. The problem was that it was early in the book, and I had to fight to come back to it. Once I did I was incredibly glad I did. But beware that there’s what appears to be a detour in the first quarter of the book that becomes key at the end. That’s all I’ll say because you need to read the book for yourself…just keep reading!

Even with that detour, I look forward to Mr. Grady’s next book. His attention to detail, twisting plot and way with words will have me buying his next book.

I received both books from the publishers to review.

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