Author: Alexandra

Book Review: A Killing in the Hills

DETAILS Title: A Killing in the Hills Author: Julia Keller Publisher: Minotaur Books ISBN: 9781250184351 Genre: Murder-Mystery BACK COVER DETAILS What’s happening in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker’s Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow? One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job. After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end …

Book Review: TATIANA

DETAILS Title: TATIANA (Arkady Renko #8) Author: Martin Cruz Smith Publisher: Simon & Schuster ISBN: 9781439140215 Genre: Thriller BACK COVER BLURB The reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow the same week that a mob billionaire is shot and buried with the trappings due a lord. The trail leads to Kaliningrad, a Cold War “secret city” that is separated by hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia. The more Arkady delves into Tatiana’s past, the more she leads him into a surreal world of wandering sand dunes, abandoned children, and a notebook written in the personal code of a dead translator. Finally, in a lethal race to uncover what the translator knew, Renko makes a startling discovery that draws him still deeper into Tatiana’s past—and, paradoxically, into Russia’s future, where bulletproof cars, poets, corruption of the Baltic Fleet, and a butcher for hire combine to give Kaliningrad the “distinction” of having the highest crime rate in Russia. WHAT I THOUGHT This chess-inspired 8th outing for the cranky melancholy …

Book Review: THE POPPY WAR

DETAILS Title: THE POPPY WAR Author: R. F. Kuang Publisher: Harper Voyager ISBN: 9780062662583 Genre: YA Fantasy BACK COVER BLURB When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising. WHAT I THOUGHT I had such high hopes for THE POPPY WAR, the first in a trilogy from R. F. Kuang, especially given how much coverage this novel was receiving across social media. Sadly, for me at least, it didn’t live up to the over inflated hype and praise that has been heaped upon it. And that it was nominated for …