BOOK REVIEW: Good Samaritans – by Will Carver @Orendabooks

Title: Good Samaritans
(Detective Sergeant Pace #1)
Author: Will Carver
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: September 15th 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: April 27th 2020
Pages: 318

“Because it won’t make your skin sparkle like it does your toilet basin. It will burn. It will blister. You will bleed. It will hurt like hell.

Unless you’re already dead.”

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So… Guess who has been struck by an Orenda book hangover once again and has been unable to put a word on paper for over a week now? Oh yes, Good Samaritans hit me hard and hit straight in the ‘flabbergasted’ bullseye. I’ve had a copy of this first book of what I already know will be a favorite series on my shelves for a little over a year now, and to be honest I’ve been saving it for rainy days as I already had that feeling I would love it. Why? Not only has it that Orenda guarantee, but fellow bloggers have loved this story (and its sequel) and their reviews convinced me I would too. After struggling with recent reads and feeling a little desperate to find a story that would completely blow my socks off again, I turned to my Orenda backlist and decided it was time to pick up Good Samaritans. And boy, I just couldn’t have picked better!

I’m still not sure where to begin my review even after letting more than a week pass, but let’s start with the basics. Good Samaritans is dark, sexy and utterly disturbing; it’s a complex and well written story that grabbed me from the start and was basically pitch black and twisted to the core. I guess that this alone is already enough to convince you that you need this book in your life (at least for me it is, but then again I like my stories black as night and seriously twisted)… But in case you need more convincing, let’s see which elements I loved more closely. It’s basically the whole book from start to finish, but let’s narrow it down… First off all I was blown away by the writing, which is simply splendid and bowled me over from page one. I knew I was now a fan of Will Carver‘s writing from the very first chapter, and that is something that doesn’t happen every day.

I also loved the plot and the sheer complexity of it all. We have multiple POVs to deal with, giving this story a multi-dimentional and rich feel. It really enhanced the reading experience for me and the structure was used to build the suspense, keep things from you while anticipating others in an absolutely brilliant way. You have not one, but multiple twisted characters to follow and Good Samaritans does an excellent job keeping you on your toes as you try to discover how everything fits together. The different characters are sublimely developed, they felt realistic and they made for a fascinating as well as seriously disturbed cast of characters… The best possible bunch if you like your thrillers pitch black and without sugar like myself.

Talking about the previously mentioned characters… I just loved that we didn’t just have one clear bad guy, but instead a selection of excellently and realistically developed disturbing personalities that each have their secrets and issues. Sure, we have the serial killer, but his identity is made less important as we have more than one suspect at first and later more than one character turned to the dark side to follow. Furthermore, Good Samaritans offers us both sides of the story,with POVs featuring victims, our new lead detective sergeant Pace and the more twisted individuals alike. This gives us a more complete picture of the whole situation as well as really enriching what is already a fantastic story.

Another thing that stands out is that while this book is the first Detective Sergeant Pace book, he doesn’t seem all that present during most of the story. Instead, the focus is mostly on the dark side and this definitely gave the story its unique feel. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I loved how each POV had its own tone and it was really easy to spot which character was currently featured by the writing style and tone alone. I liked how Pace was represented and I will definitely be looking forward to see more of him in the future.

There are a lot of different and dark elements in play in Good Samaritans, including mental health issues, suicide, OCD and a healthy dose of violence. On top of that, you will also find a surprising amount of steamy scenes included too… Turning this story into something so essentially dark and sensual that it almost makes you feel naughty for reading it. And guess who was more than ready to misbehave? Oh yes, Good Samaritans was an instant favorite and blew me away completely from start to finish. Dark and simply glorious; if you think you can handle it, this book in an absolute must-read.


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BOOK REVIEW: Backfire – by Catherine Coulter

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Title: Backfire
(FBI Thriller Series #16)
Author: Catherine Coulter
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 10th 2012
Finished reading: April 2nd 2015
Pages: 480
Rating 3,5

“You’re going to live. That’s not to say you’re going to be happy for a while, but it beats the alternative.”

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I was in the mood for a crime read last week and since Backfire has been on my TBR shelf for a while now, I decided to give this novel by Catherine Coulter a go. This one is actually the sixteenth book in the FBI Thriller series, but now I’ve read it I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to read them all in order. Sure, some of the background details of the main characters were missing, but it was still easy enough to pick up the story. The pace is fast and there is a lot going on at the same time. The prose is easy to read, although the romance scenes were a bit on the cheesy side for my taste. Some of the scenes weren’t completely believable either, especially when it comes to the actions of the bad guys… All in all not the perfect crime read I was looking for, but still good enough for a few hours of easy entertainment.

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FBI agents and couple Lacy Sherlock and Dillon Savich have been asked to travel to San Francisco when their friend Judge Ramsey Hunt is shot. They suspect it has something to do with the case Ramsey was currently working on involving the couple Clive and Cindy Cahill… The two have been accused of murder and spionage, and federal prosecutor Mickey O’Rourke has been acting strange as well the day the judge was shot. It soon turns out something is off as O’Rourke seems to have disappeared without a trace the next day… And Sherlock and Savich suspect there is something bigger going on behind the whole shooting. Does it have anything to do with the secret information the Cahill couple has stolen? The CIA isn’t helping either, and things soon get more complicated as the shooter doesn’t seem to want to give up until the judge is actually dead. Will they be able to find the shooter on time? And what about the strange note that was delivered to Savich before they heard about the shooting?

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I’m not sure if I will end up reading more of this series at some point, although I do know that if I will see one of them on sale I will probably end up buying it. Catherine Coulter writes in a way that is easy to read and while not all scenes are totally believable, the story is entertaining in general. Backfire is not the perfect read, but good enough for a few hours of easy reading on the beach or curled up in a chair with a cup of steaming coffee.