Review: Rich Waters (Jason Rich #2) by Robert Bailey

Now that attorney Jason Rich has returned home to Guntersville, Alabama, the “In an accident? Get rich!” lawyer is anxious to leave his checkered past behind. Jason hopes this next chapter in his life will be a chance to confront his personal troubles while making amends with his family.

But when a former high school football star stands accused of killing a police officer, Jason is unwillingly thrust into the chaos. The local meth king blackmails Jason into defending the alleged murderer, and Jason knows he can’t refuse. With the lives of his family and closest friends on the line, he takes the obviously unwinnable case.

As Jason dives into the investigation, he vows to dismantle the meth empire gripping his hometown. But as he confronts alternative suspects and follows new leads, Jason realizes that everyone has secrets to hide and interests to protect—at any cost.


I love Robert Bailey’s books. I grew up reading Grisham but lost track of his books at some point. My love for legal thrillers was reignited when I came across a Robert Bailey book. I enjoy his books so much that I save them for special occasions. I was in the middle of a reading slump and a lot of pressure at work when I picked this title. For 3 days, I had something to look forward to and truly enjoyed being lost in these pages.

Jason Rich is quite a troubled lawyer. He is a recovering addict who doesn’t seem to be handling anything in his life well and is at the verge of losing everyone he loves. He finds himself defending another troubled young man who is battling his own demons and also facing a murder charge. Jason didn’t want to take the case but he had no choice in the matter. This further added to the tension and mystery of the case.

Rich Waters has quite a number of interesting characters. I loved Jason with his quirkiness, love for WWE and his music choices. I also enjoyed the ex-military brothers who formed Jason’s security team.  Even the bad guys had an interesting storyline.  All characters were very well developed and stood out in a way that makes me think I can pick them out of a police lineup.

The story begins with a tense scene leading up to a murder. I remained captivated from the first to the last page. I loved the investigation and enjoyed the courtroom drama. I also liked the complexity and unpredictability of the case. I can’t wait for the next installment in this series or anything else the author comes up with next. This was an absolute stunner!

Review: A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon

In 1760, Deborah Samson is born to Puritan parents in Plympton, Massachusetts. When her father abandons the family and her mother is unable to support them, Deborah is bound out as an indentured servant. From that moment on, she yearns for a life of liberation and adventure.

Twenty years later, as the American colonies begin to buckle in their battle for independence, Deborah, impassioned by the cause, disguises herself as a soldier and enlists in the Continental Army. Her impressive height and lanky build make her transformation a convincing one, and it isn’t long before she finds herself confronting the horrors of war head-on.

But as Deborah fights for her country’s freedom, she must contend with the secret of who she is—and, ultimately, a surprising love she can’t deny.


I fell in love with Amy Harmon’s books once I read A Songbook of Benny Lament. There is something magical about her writing that wraps you in silence and takes you to another world where everything in your current environment ceases to exist for just a while.

I absolutely adored, A Girl Called Samson. Deborah Samson is the kind of female MC who inspires, challenges and definitely finds a way to occupy your heart and mind. Her story begins with her servanthood at the Thomas family. Although this is family of boys, Deborah manages to hold her own both physically and mentally and gain respect from all members of the household. When she comes of age and is finally free from her bond of servanthood, Deborah yearns for more. She is tired of being left behind at home while all the men go out to war and so she makes a daring move and enlists as a soldier, disguised as a man.

This book had my attention from the beginning to the end. Deborah is so strong willed and I enjoyed following her story though I was so nervous a couple of times. I kept holding my breath, nervous that her secret will be found out. Deborah’s thoughts and actions gave me plenty to also think about especially about the place of women in society. Times have changed but still, a lot has remained the same. In the end, Deborah’s search for independence, self-acceptance and growth is one that will resonate with many women.

This was a brilliant read. Enthralling, vivid imagery and a captivating storyline, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Fictional Female Detectives

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish which has now found a lovely new home at That Artsy Reader Girl

I absolutely love crime thriller series. This week’s prompt has allowed me to give a shout out to all my favorite heroines, fictional female detectives. There are more female detectives that I have enjoyed but I will restrict this list to only the police procedural series that I am currently reading.

  1. Detective Erika Foster – The Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza was my first dip into the police procedural genre and I absolutely adored Erika and her team
  2. Detective Gina Harte – I absolutely love Gina. She has annoyed me through some books but I still have love for her especially now.
  3. Detective Madison Harper – I love Madison’s storyline. She started out as a former police officer wrongly convicted. The uniqueness of her storyline and her sidekick continues to captivate me as the series progresses.
  4. Detective Ellie Reeves – I couldn’t stand Ellie when the series began. She had a knack of getting knocked out multiple times in one case, trying to solve everything alone and was caught up in a love triangle. She did grow on me eventually and is easily one of my favorites.
  5. Detective Amanda Steele – Amanda continues to grow on me. I wasn’t too sure about her in the first book but now she is definitely a favorite. I like how she is invested in her cases and how well she works with her team
  6. Private Detective Kate Marshall – Kate is different, she is a private detective and not working with the police. Her tenacity to solve cases especially involving missing persons is admirable. Plus, I love her sidekick, Tristan and the unlikely pair that they make.
  7. Detective Morgan Brookes– First met Morgan on her first day as a rookie officer on her first day and then got to watch her rise through the ranks.
  8. Detective Kay Sharpe – Kay is stationed at a small town with endless cases. Mount Chester is the perfect setting for this series and Kay is quite likeable with an interesting background as a former FBI agent. I also like the fact that she is a detective with her own many, dark secrets.
  9. Special Agent Nikki Hunt – An agent who hunts down serial killers, what is not to like? I really enjoy this series and our heroine.
  10. Detective Megan Carpenter – Megan Carpenter is one of my favourite detectives. She has a dark past. Unlike most detectives in crime thrillers who are haunted by their dark pasts, Megan embraces the darkness which is what makes her unique. When it comes to criminals, the line between right and wrong becomes blurry for her.

Honorable mentions

  • Agent Tori Hunter – Another fierce detective who never shies away from all the action.
  • Detective Kate Young – love this detective and her backstory. Kate is one detective that works in a department that seems to be working against her. She is tenacious though and quite determined even when it means going at it solo.

Are any of these detectives familiar to you? Are you reading any series featuring detectives not on this list? If you participated in this week’s TT, kindly share the link to your post. I’d like to see your list of favorite heroines too.

Review: Her Final Breath (Detective Amanda Steele #7) by Carolyn Arnold

Faint sunlight dapples the two figures lying on the ground. The mother cradles her daughter close to her side, a stuffed toy elephant next to them. Leaves from the tall trees fall onto their faces, but neither moves to brush them off.

When a dog walker in a local Virginia park finds the bodies of a mother and daughter, Detective Amanda Steele is first on the scene. Her own daughter has a toy just like the girl’s elephant and seeing the child like this is her worst nightmare come true. Heartbroken, she vows to get justice.

They quickly get an ID—Jill Archer and six-year-old Charlotte were reported missing last week, but interviewing Jill’s husband, Roy, Amanda’s gut tells her he is hiding something. When the autopsy reveals a terrible pattern of bruises, she’s certain that a domestic argument escalated out of control, and tiny Charlotte got caught in the crossfire. But just as Amanda is about to arrest Roy, another grave is found, containing another mother and daughter.

Desperate for a lead, she goes to every place the women could have been targeted, and learns from a concerned ER nurse about Leanne Reilly and her young daughter, Gracie, who haven’t been heard from in a week. Amanda hopes that Leanne has simply left her deadbeat husband, but she’s gripped by the fear that they are the killer’s latest victims. Now every second counts for Amanda to find the family and stop a little girl’s nightmare before it ends in tragedy…


Amanda Steele is another one of my favourite lead detectives. In the past, most of her cases involved a single crime. This is one of her darkest, most complex case yet and it involves a serial killer targeting mothers and daughters. We begin with a mother and daughter in captivity. You can already tell just how terrifying their situation is. The tension further heightens in the first chapter with the discovery of another mother and daughter buried in a shallow grave at a public park. At first, the detectives thought this would be an open and shut case but things didn’t quite work out that way.

This was a difficult case to read about. Although no graphic details are shared, a number of heavy, emotional themes were part of the investigation. Amanda and her partner, Trent, had such a difficult case on their hands. The suspense was high through each chapter and I could feel the pressure that they were under to stop the murders. This added to the urgency in the narrative which had me furiously turning pages in search of answers alongside the detectives.

This is yet another well-written, suspenseful, tightly-plotted installment to the Detective Amanda Steele series. Although this can be read as a standalone, I think you’d enjoy the character development even more if you read the entire series in order.

Review: Devil’s Way (Kate Marshall #4) by Robert Bryndza

When Private Investigator Kate Marshall is rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea, the near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip on Dartmoor.

By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she’s agreed to take on the case, but when Kate and her trusty sidekick Tristan start to look at the events of that fateful night, they discover that Jean has a dark past that could have put Charlie in jeopardy.

Was Charlie abducted? Or did he fall into Devil’s Way? A rushing river that vanishes into a gorge close to where they were camping.

When Kate and Tristan discover that a social worker who flagged concerns about Jean and her daughter was found brutally murdered shortly after Charlie vanished, it makes them question everything they thought they knew about the family…


I have always enjoyed Robert Bryndza’s books. His writing is  always so brilliant! The latest Kate Marshall installment begins with a child going missing in the middle of the night during a camping trip. On the other hand, Kate has a terrifying, near death accident and for a minute there, I thought Bryndza had gone the George R. R. Martin way and decided to just kill the protagonist. Luckily, Kate survived and took on the case to find Charlie, a 3-year-old who went missing 11 years ago.

Missing child cases are always so hard to read. I have heard of cases where kids just vanish, never to be seen again. Families are left broken, unable to move on and grappling with the hopelessness of not knowing. There is a case in Kenya about a woman who has been searching for her 4-year-old twin sons since 2012. I can’t begin to imagine the emotional turmoil and anguish. When Charlie disappeared in the night, Jean’s family was destroyed and remained so for over a decade.

This was quite a hard case to crack. There were so many dead ends and many people had moved on from the case with the passage of time. Kate and her partner, Tristan, were however determined to find answers for Charlie’s grandmother, Jean. They were afraid that the answers would not be what Jean was looking for but nonetheless, they wanted to offer her closure.

With twists and turns and a couple of red herrings, this narrative had me at the edge of my seat until the case was solved.  This was yet another heart-racing, captivating, unpredictable Kate Marshall investigation and I cannot wait for the next installment already. What a stunner!

Review: That Night at the Beach by Kate Hewitt

As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.


What a poignant read! Is there anything that we wouldn’t do for our children? My prayer for my daughter has always been that she grows up safe and away from the nightmares of this world. This was Rose had hoped for her daughter but her nightmare became a reality when her daughter, Bella, informed her that she had been assaulted. Naturally, Rose was devastated and wanted to do everything to ensure that her daughter was okay and received justice. An already bad situation was made worse by the fact that the accused is Cara’s son. Cara and Rose were best friends.

The story is narrated by the two mothers. It was hard to witness their struggles even as they searched for the truth and justice. Both wanted to protect their children but as it often happens, knowing exactly how to handle such a situation can be tricky and emotionally draining. I thought that the two women were quite sympathetic and their portrayal, realistic. I was invested in their story and all that was happening around them and their reactions to it all. Rose and Cara are two very well-developed protagonists and their characters aptly helped develop the themes of family, motherhood and friendships. They handled the sensitive themes of teenage drinking and sexual assault in a manner that is realistic and had me wondering how I would have handled the same issues as a parent.

This was quite a poignant, thought-provoking read that held my attention from the first to the last page. Kate Hewitt as usual handled such delicate themes tastefully and with the sensitivity that they deserved. All in all, this is an important, compelling read. Highly recommended.

Review: A Spell of Good things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. Because his father has lost his job, Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor, collecting newspapers, begging when he must, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect child of a wealthy family. Now an exhausted young doctor in her first year of practice, she is beloved by Kunle, the volatile son of an ascendant politician.

When a local politician takes an interest in Eniola and sudden violence shatters a family party, Wuraola and Eniola’s lives become intertwined. In her breathtaking second novel, Ayobami Adebayo shines her light on Nigeria, on the gaping divide between the haves and the have-nots, and the shared humanity that lives in between.


I was super stoked to see this ARC show up on NetGalley. Stay with Me which was Ayobami’s debut novel made quite the splash. It is one book that I have ended up discussing numerous times, even with my non-reader friends. I, therefore, received a copy of A Spell of Good Things with excitement and a little anxiety wondering whether the author will attain the magic of the first novel.

A Spell of Good Things started out slow for me. It took a little time to get into the narrative. The story begins by introducing us to Eniola, a young boy whose family is struggling financially. Eniola’s father lost his teaching job and has gone into depression after fruitlessly seraching for a new job for years. His mother is struggling to make ends meet while Eniola and his sister, Busola, are struggling with hunger, lack of school fees and seemingly, endless hopelessness. On the other hand, the author introduces us to Wuraola, a doctor from an affluent family, engaged to a politician’s son. Wuraola’s life was so far removed Eniola’s that I couldn’t help but wonder how their stories would intersect.

I didn’t even notice when the pace changed. I quickly found myself deeply engrossed in the narrative until I reached a point where I didn’t want to stop reading the book but at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading it. The imagery of modern-day Nigeria in light of political tensions and class divide was quite well done. I could visualize the setting, atmosphere and the lives of the characters. The characterization was quite good. All including the support characters were well developed which added to the richness of the narrative.

This story left me heartbroken in the end, and stunned. It swept me off my feet, took me on a journey but I wasn’t ready for that ending. It’s a book that I won’t forget easily. I remember coming to the last page, staring at nothing while wondering how to possible move on and pick another book. I can’t recommend A Spell of Good Things enough. It’s a stunning read, one that every reader should experience.

Review: The Girl in the River (Detective Ellie Reeves #7) by Rita Herron

Detective Ellie Reeves should be enjoying the wedding of her dear friend Mia Norman. But instead of celebrating, she is frantically searching for the missing bride. Something is terribly wrong—just hours ago, Mia was blissfully happy. Why would she suddenly vanish?

Bursting through the dressing room, Ellie finds it in disarray—chairs overturned, a perfume bottle shattered. Hiding in the bathroom is Mia’s six-year-old daughter Pixie, curled in a ball and sobbing her heart out. The little girl says she was locked inside when she heard a man’s voice, and her mother crying. “I just want my mommy back,” she pleads. Ellie vows to make that happen.

Turning the venue upside down, Ellie’s blood turns to ice when she reaches the riverbank. Someone is dead in the rippling water, floating beside a white veil. Ellie holds her breath as she turns the body over. It belongs to Tori, Mia’s bridesmaid, a gunshot wound in her back. Near the murder scene, Ellie discovers a button from a man’s shirt, and her friend’s engagement ring. The race is on to find Mia—before it’s too late.

When forensics come back, the investigation takes a dark turn. DNA proves that Mia was actually Jesse Habersham, a woman who went missing five years ago. Ellie is certain that Mia was running from someone. Did her past finally catch up with her?


A wedding goes tragically wrong and ends with a missing bride and a body near the river. I was immediately intrigued and had questions about what happened to the bride. How can a seeming beautiful day with so many happy people end up with murder? Ellie was at the wedding and quickly began the search for answers.

I have grown to really like Detective Ellie. At first, her character absolutely annoyed me. I didn’t like her style of working or the choices that she made in her personal life. However, I am now a fan of both. I like how scrupulous she is in her investigations and how well she works with her team. Her personal life also has me captivated. This installment actually ends with a cliff hanger on her personal life and I can’t wait for the next book already.

This was a complex, multi-layered case that also found a way of tugging at my heartstrings. My heart broke for the husband left at the altar but more so for the little child whose mom was missing. On the other hand, the case takes us to another creepy, little town on the mountains. I mean, Ellie’s town is weird. Its small but crime-filled. Nonetheless, Red River Rock was weirder. A small town full of secrets that people were willing to die for? Colour me, hooked!

This was yet another great installment to the Detective Ellie Reeves series. Intense, fast-paced with twists at every corner. I was gripped to the last page.

WWW: Jan 25th


This weekly feature was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. To participate, just answer the three questions below.  

What are you currently reading?

The Girl in the River (Detective Ellie Reeves #7) by Rita Herron – I have always enjoyed this one. A few chapters in and I am hooked.

That Night at the Beach by Kate Hewitt – I have always loved Kate’s books. I started reading a few chapters but was in the mood for a faster-paced book so I set this one aside but will get back to it.

A Spell of Good Things by Aỳbámi Adébáỳ – I requested this ARC not really expecting to be approved. I was super stoked when it showed up on my NetGalley shelf this weekend. I loved the author’s debut novel so I went into this one with very high expectations. Although the writing is as beautiful as I expected, the pace is quite slow so far but I still have high hopes.

What did you recently finish reading?

Her Deadly Promise (Detective Gina Harte #) by Carla Kovach

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am in the mood for cop procedural so I’ll probably ready one of these titles:

I am slowly getting back into reading but at quite a slow pace. My goal for this month is to read 4 books, I have read 2 so far so I am almost there. I have been watching some good shows though. I just finished binge-watching 2 seasons of Ginny and Georgia and I absolutely enjoyed the show. I also watched the latest season of The Circle and totally loved it and I might just have found my favourite winner yet.

So, what have you been reading and watching? Let me know in the comments section. Have a lovely week.

Review: Her Deadly Promise (Detective Gina Harte) by Carla Kovach

Four-year-old Kayden has been sitting alone on the little patch of tired grass outside his house for hours. His cheeks are wet with tears as he waits for his mother’s warm embrace. But she’ll never arrive to pick up her darling boy. She’ll never be seen again…

Church Road is a quiet corner of suburbia where happy families play in the local park and neighbours smile as they pass in the street. But behind the bright red door of number 8 lies the body of Billie Reeves, a young mum who just took her last breath.

Serena is Billie’s sister. When she found out her boyfriend had been obsessively calling Billie, she’d all but cut her from her life. But not before vowing she would make Billie pay for ruining her relationship…

Shaun is Billie’s ex-boyfriend. He left her the moment she fell pregnant. When he turned up at Billie’s door, demanding to see Kayden, she refused to take the risk of him hurting her precious son. He’ll do whatever it takes to get his little boy back…

Nadia is Billie’s best friend. Their kids attended the same school and Billie often opened up to Nadia about her struggles as a single mother. She knows Billie’s deepest, darkest secret. She promised never to tell, but that was before the argument…

When police investigate the quiet little street, they discover everyone was whispering about Billie’s late-night callers. What was going on behind the closed door of Billie’s small home? And if someone was prepared to kill her, what do they know, and who will be next?


I have always enjoyed this series. I fell 3 books behind and didn’t get the ARCs but I have bought them and can’t wait to read them soon. Luckily, having read 8 books in the series so far, I was able to fill in the gaps as far as the characters’ lives and quickly get up to speed.

Gina Harte is dealing with a personal issue and is more alone than she has ever been. However, there is no time to dwell on her personal misery as she is quickly drawn in to a complex case filled with twists and turns. Billie is a single mother found murdered in her home. She lives in a small community with a circle of friends so its hard to imagine anyone targeting her.

I love small towns as settings for thrillers. The secrets and scandals have never failed to hold my attention. There is always so much drama that makes me happy that I live in the city. In this story, there is a group of school mums whose circle is broken by the murder of one of them. Then the secrets started coming out. Ooooh, they were juicy and scandalous! I was rubbing my hands in glee as each twist dropped. This was such an exciting read.

I have always loved Detective Gina Harte. She’s grown as a character and has had her ups and downs. It was fun to reconnect with her in this fast-paced, twisty, jaw-dropping case. I truly enjoyed this one and cannot wait for the next book in the series.