Book Review: Netherworld by Lisa Morton

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Lisa Morton

Published by JournalStone


282 pages

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Genre: Historical Thriller

Netherworld by award-winning novelist Lisa Morton is the first book in the Chronicles of Diana Furnaval series. Diana and her husband William are locked in the classic battle of good vs. evil throughout this novel. The story begins in England October 31, 1879. Diana is an extraordinary woman, risking her life to save mankind from demons, evil spirits and specters that are entering the world through gateways from the Netherworld.

It was the Furnavals’ mission in life to close all of the gateways in the world. Using incantations from “The Book of Gateways, Conjurations and Banishments”, as well as various herbs, knives, and human blood, she and William fought evil without regard for themselves. William traveled to Transylvania to close a gateway, but returned to England in a coffin. Distraught, Diana searches for answers but finds herself questioning William’s apparent death.

She travels, in an era where women did not venture out alone, to dangerous parts of the world. Her husband’s fortune and her steely determination take her to Europe, China, the United States and back to England, closing gateways. All the while, she is looking for her husband. If William is indeed caught in an evil place between earth and the Netherworld she is willing to do anything to save him.

Morton is a masterful storyteller. I loved the way she wove history into this novel. Customs and traditions accompany the page-turning, heart-stopping terror Diana finds herself facing at every turn. The story is rich in culture and creatures, a mix that works well to keep you reading well into the night.

The second book in the Chronicles of Diana Furnaval is scheduled for release in 2015, the third in 2017 per her website . It is no surprise to find out Ms. Morton is a Halloween expert. All Hollow’s Eve plays a big part in Netherworld and in her world. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.


Book Review: Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

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Look Again_World Book NightLook Again

Lisa Scottoline

St Martin’s  Griffin, New York

ISBN-978-0-312-38 72-4

377 pages

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Journalist Ellen Gleeson loves her adopted son, Will, with all of her heart and soul. They found each other when he was an infant. Will, hospitalized with a serious heart condition, was abandoned by his mother. Ellen saw him while researching a story, fell in love with the tiny tot and became his mother through a legal adoption. Now Will has grown into a happy, healthy preschooler.

The end of this perfect life started with a mass mailing “Have you seen this child?” postcard. Could the little boy be Will? If the missing boy was Will, could Ellen ignore his parents’ pleas for his safe return?

The journalist in her has to investigate the possibility that something was horribly wrong with the adoption. The deeper she searches the more bad things turn up, including dead bodies.

Is she willing to risk everything, including losing her son to find the truth?

Scottoline is one of my favorite authors. This book in particular so good I read it fast, and then was unhappy to have it end. Anyone who has a child or loves a child is pulled into the heart wrenching fear Ellen is experiencing. If you’ve never read one of Scottoline’s books, start here – you’ll become an instant fan of this seasoned author.

Book Review: The Boogie Trapp by Kerry Copeland Smith

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The Boogie Trapp

Kerry Copeland Smith

The Peppertree Pressboogie trap


356 pages

Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman

Alabama backwoods in the 1940s was a smaller community than it is today. Poor families lived side by side, facing day-to-day struggles of survival, just trying to make ends meet and feed their family. Young boys growing up during these times given freedom and responsibilities that would be considered crazy today. They spent time in the surrounding woods and creeks, riding bikes and trying to outwit other boys their age while charming the girls in town.

Written as a memory being brought to light, this story is a confession of sorts. The story of best friends beginning an adventure that was much more than they bargained for.

Boogie and his best friend Trapp were cigarette smoking, beer snitching, girl chasing 13 year olds without fear of the future. They went to church with their families, respected adults and occasionally swiped a few dollars from Boogie’s older brothers to buy a soda or gum.

Dressed up in their Sunday best, Boogie and Trapp can barely contain their excitement. They were invited to a boy/girl party; rumors about kissing games being the featured entertainment made them more nervous than they wanted to admit. They spent the hours before the party goofing around and even found a way to make a bit of money.

Then the day went terribly wrong. Their lives were changed forever as the events tumbled over, around and through them faster than a perfectly chosen rock sent from Boogie’s slingshot. Would they live to tell the tale?

Kerry Copeland Smith hit a home run his first time at bat. He pulls the reader into the Deep South with vivid descriptions of sights, sounds and smells.

The pictures of a quieter time, before cell phones and the internet, that held heart stopping terror that rivals the horrors of today’s headlines fill the pages and the reader’s head.

If you only choose one new author to read this year, make it Copeland Smith.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.


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