A small town in North Carolina where a detective who was sent to prison for a murder is now getting out on parole. The teenage son of the woman he supposedly killed is coming to gun him down. Another detective, who is herself on the ropes for "overshooting"suspects in a violent kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl, is caught trying to protect all of them. Liz is broken and she tries to mend by taking care of other broken things - the newly released detective, the teenage rape victim and the troubled teenage son trying to take justice into his own hands. Being under investigation herself for unnecessary violence doesn't stop Liz from trying to clear Adrian's name and find the new killer. And then a grisly discovery is made that will change everything. Rock solid thriller with bad politics, corrupt officials and lovable broken characters that you want to mend.
Olivia wasn't supposed to marry a well off man of society but that is what she did and was expected only to be a good hostess, support her husband always and give him heirs. She just couldn't quite pull it off. Her husband, Bernard is a bit of a bore and with the war with Hitler looming associations with foreigners is becoming difficult. The one man from Olivia's past that can save her or condemn her is Antonio, the Italian singer able to charm London society but whose family swings to a Fascist beat. Will Antonio and Olivia survive the war and all the roadblocks in front of them? Alison Love presents a classic love story that shows how war makes unlikely friends and enemies of people from all walks of life.
England's participation in WWII has been declared, everyone is rushing to do their part and Mary is no exception so she takes the position of school teacher. Things don't go well for the outspoken and unorthodox young woman and she finds herself attached to one young black boy whose dad is a musician. Zachary is as lost without Mary as she is without him and she brings him home to London where she becomes a teacher to those children left behind and she falls for the school administrator who is unable to sign up to fight. The merry band of Tom, Mary, Mary's friend Hilda and Tom's friend Alistair are all trying to do the right thing and the war gets in the way.
After teaching is no longer possible Mary and Hilda sign up to work with the ambulances and Alistair is off to Malta. The brutal effects of war are all too apparent and each of them deals with tragedy and loss. In London the war and grief mixes the classes and races as they share their own sense of loss and for some, hope. In the beginning there is a definite class system and racial prejudice but the war
makes common people do uncommon things , fall in and out of love and become heroes out of necessity.
Outspoken Bea and well bred Vera could not have been more different but became fast friends at Vassar. They were joined at the hip until Bea got Vera in trouble and Vera threw Bea under the bus. Fast forward to 1923 and the penthouse apartment at a fashionable address in New York where Vera is married to the perfect man, wears perfect clothes, throws perfect parties and is perfectly bored. A chance encounter with Bea , a forged painting and the newly arrived mysterious muralist who demands absolute secrecy and flirting with Vera and suddenly Vera is not bored any longer. Did Bea choose the better path and will Vera continue to do what is expected of her but not what she wants?
For those who love reading about how the better half lives you will enjoy this look at high society in old money New York.
Britt-Marie has lost her wandering husband and even though he upset her perfectly ordered world, has lost her anchor. She decides what she needs is a job although she is only qualified to run a household and soon beats the system and finds herself at a small town recreation center. Her car is in the shop and she has no where to go so she starts to organize her life and in the same breath, the rec center and its inhabitants. Soon people (and a snicker eating rat) start warming up to her curmudgeon attitude and she is asked to become the kid's soccer coach. Not only must she learn the game but also cut through the red tape and figure out if she should take her husband back or begin anew with a very sweet town policeman. With Faxon cleaner in hand, Britt-Marie will clean up the town of Borg and her own mixed up life dispelling advice to anyone she feels should listen. Fredrik Backman has shown us time and time again that he is the master of quirky characters who we grow to love just as the book's inhabitants do.
A young art auction assistant with no real future takes a friend up on getting dressed up and working at a club. This begins a downward moral spiral but an upward turn on Judith's future earnings. She and the friend party with a wealthy patron on the French Riviera only things don't work out the way they thought and sugar daddy dies. So she sends the friend home, grabs the money, the Chanel bag and heads to Italy to soothe her nerves and plan. She is a black widow spider that has steamy sex with wealthy men, grabs what she wants, kills them and moves on. Things progress until she rips off the wrong man and it starts to get uncomfortable. Judith has the ability to get herself in and out of impossible situations and is working her way up in the tough world of art dealing. Edge of your seat thriller set in some of the most glamorous cities of Europe will have you saying "Oh no, she didn't". Pour yourself a glass of champagne, put on some silk and step into the steamy world of Maestra.
I would describe "Daredevils" not as a coming of age story but more of a "loss of innocence" story.
Each of the main characters loses their innocence in one way or another. Loretta is the pivot point and she loses her innocence early when she sneaks out of her strict Mormon home to meet her older boyfriend. She then loses her innocence again as she is married off as a sister wife to Dean. When the family moves to a different state and Dean rejoins his brother and family, he loses his innocence being cast into a world that is still Mormon but not as devout and one where he is not the absolute leader. Jason wants to escape his Mormon background and small town after idolizing Evil Knievel's daring jumps and media exploits. He will lose his innocence after seeing his idol as a man and as soon as he decides to become Loretta's savior. Loretta's first boyfriend and Jason's friend will lose their innocence as they fall under Loretta's spell. Freedom may not be all that they expected or can handle.
I loved the premise of a modern day kick butt detective at a themed party at an estate where she went to take out a murderer but fell into a time warp and ended up there in the late 1800's. If it had happened to me and not Kendra, I would have been totally off the rails but she seems to recover quickly and refuses to talk the talk or walk the walk much to the dismay of her employer and then host. It is convenient that she is already dressed in period costume and her knowledge of police procedure is very useful when a body is discovered at the estate. It is a fun romp through murder, mayhem and romance when Kendra must still pose as a ladies maid (which she knows nothing about), flirt with one of her hosts and solve the crime before another young woman is murdered.
The boom town of Austin Texas was in a panic from 1884 - 1885 because the first serial killer to appear in the United States was preying on servant women. Young black women were being dragged out of their homes and bludgeoned to death while those around them never heard or saw a thing. Many were questioned just to blame someone but there were no witnesses who could give the police anything to go on. The attacks escalated and now included white women in nice neighborhoods. This vibrant city was under siege and there wasn't anything anyone could do. It was a mix of Old West and the dawn of a new age. Racial tension existed between white, black , Hispanic , wealthy and poor. Fast women, sloppy police work , bad politics and new technology make this a fascinating look at a vibrant growing city. I am a bit biased because I live a few blocks away from where most of these women were buried. This killer was "Jack the Ripper" before he existed in London and Skip Hollandsworth puts us in Austin during that scary year for a birds eye look at a great unsolved mystery. "The Midnight Assassin" does for Austin what "The Devil in the White City" did for Chicago.
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