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Smashwords book reviews by Brenda Telford
- My Sister's Funeral (A Murder Mystery)
on Feb. 13, 2012
When James was 10 years old, his big sister Maria, disappeared. She vanished on the way home from school near Newcastle, NSW...she was with her girlfriends on the train, and after she had alighted at the station, no-one saw her again.
Now, over thirty years later, Maria’s remains have been found near Broken Hill, and everything comes crashing back. James finds himself reliving all the trauma, the devastation and horror that occurred after Maria went missing, the breakdown of the family, the rapid growing up he had to do, having to prepare meals for himself, iron his own school shirts, all the things his mother would normally do, except she was distraught, and in no way capable of anything anymore.
While James is organising Maria’s funeral, he revisits family members with whom he had lost contact over the years, trying to find some answers...he visits Maria’s girlfriends from her school days, looking to get more information. He also goes to his estranged father’s nursing home, but the anger is palpable. And all the while his Aunt Rose is there for him, having a meal now and then, helping James more than his mother ever did.
The re-appearance of Allison, James’ ex wife, has him more confused than ever, as he needs to confront his past in a way that makes him very uncomfortable. And when they are all together at the funeral home, things come together in a way that will surprise and shock you.....
This novel is a very well written murder mystery, with twists and turns throughout, until the sudden, unexpected ending! A very enjoyable quick read!
- By the Sword
on April 16, 2012
In the mid 1600’s, Kate Ashley is a widow with a young son, 9 year old Thomas. She lived near her sister Suzanne, husband William and their children in Barton, Yorkshire where they lived a frugal, but happy life.
One day Kate received a letter from Tom’s great grandfather, Sir Francis Thornton, from whom they had been estranged for many years. The old man was on his death bed, and wanted to ‘clear his conscience’ by meeting Tom and Kate. It had been 30 years since the elopement which had split the family in two, and Kate had no desire to meet the old man. But speaking to Tom later, she discovered he wished to meet and get to know his father’s family.
Between the time of meeting Sir Francis, and his subsequent death, many things happened, not least being the meeting of the black sheep of the family, Sir Francis’ grandson, Jonathon Thornton, fugitive royalist fighting by the young King Charles II’s side, and the bequeathing of the Thornton family home ‘Seven Ways’ to Tom, with Kate to have complete control of the estate until Tom came of age.
With the English Civil War in full swing, things began to get difficult for Kate, and Jon’s sister Nell. Nell’s husband Giles was an officer fighting alongside Jon, and when their nemesis Stephen Prescott, who had been hunting Jonathan for years, arrived on Kate’s doorstep, she had to use all her powers of persuasion to be able to lie convincingly to this evil man.
When Prescott and Jon finally confronted each other, Prescott revealed a secret to Jon which was set to change his life, and that of Kate, the woman he’d come to love deeply, forever.
This historical fiction tale by Aussie author, Alison Stuart, was extremely skilfully told. It kept me enthralled and reading long into the night, with the love and loyalty, captures and escapes, gunfire and pain, all being an integral part of the story.
I can’t wait to read Alison’s next book, ‘The King’s Man’.
- Water's Edge
on July 03, 2012
David Samuels is a retired EPA investigator, and has just settled into life away from his previous city dwelling, where the memories were too harsh, where he lost his lovely wife, Lisa to a car accident. David and his companion, Blackout, planned on doing some relaxing!
But David received a call from his former employer, informing him that benzene had been found dumped in the river, and he needed David’s help to find the culprits. Blackout was able to sniff out chemicals, and it seemed an ideal partnership in catching the environmental criminals.
Suddenly though, there seemed to be many more problems than David and Blackout could handle. With the help of Mac, an ex-policeman and David’s friend, they were discovering corruption in government, terrorism, and the dangers seemed to be escalating. Just as they were realizing they might be in over their heads, the investigation was shut down. But David and Mac, along with an environmentalist who was helping out, decided to keep checking things out…they had come too far to let it go now!
As things got scarily worse, and the pollution of the water-ways escalated to more and different terrorism, the corruption was wide spread, and seemed to go back to one thing…money!
This sinister environmental thriller was a different concept, but one that is certainly possible. I enjoyed Water’s Edge, and Blackout’s role in the novel, and hope to read more about Blackout, and his owner, David in the future.
- Tuning In (An Elite Short Story)
on Dec. 11, 2012
Canan Jones was celebrating his 25th birthday with his friends and co-workers at the youth club where he devoted the majority of his time. He had a special gift, and because of the sadness of his past, he had decided his path was to help troubled youngsters find the right direction in their lives. But he couldn’t keep the sadness away, and when he received an intimidating phone call from the one person he DIDN’T want to hear from, and was ordered to Sydney to work for an undercover government firm, he refused.
But when this same person called a week or so later, and offered an incentive Canan had difficulty in saying no to, as it was connected to his tragic past, he found himself wondering what he would do to find the answers he so desperately needed.
I enjoyed this short story about Canan and his troubled past so much, I immediately downloaded Intuition, which is book one of the Elite Series, and will follow on where this left off.
I received my copy of this short story free from the author.