Friday, August 31, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Scene of the Crime by Jennifer Chase (Thriller)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a BOOK REVIEW for SCENE OF THE CRIME, the second book in the Chip Palmer mystery series, featuring a forensic scientist. 


A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery, #2
by
Jennifer Chase
  
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: JEC Press
Date of Publication: May 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 320





A calculating cold-blooded predator closes in...

When a community has barely recovered from a ruthless serial killer six months earlier; now two more horrifying murders hit the radar again. It leaves police burdened with two of the most shockingly contaminated crime scenes ever documented in California’s law enforcement history. The Slayer works behind the scenes as a sinister puppet master, precisely pulling the strings, taunting the police without leaving any viable evidence, and orchestrating his killer hit squads. 

The sheriff and district attorney bring in the best investigators. Reunited again, Dr. Chip Palmer, a reclusive forensic expert, joins DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to sort through the crime scene aftermath in search of the truth—all without a probable suspect or a solid motive. Complicating the investigation—sparks reignite between the two.

Ratcheting up the suspense, Chip suffers a nasty fall hitting his head, impairing his perception and giving him a mind-blowing ability for specific detailed recall. Palmer and Rawlins assemble an unusual team including a rookie detective, a forensic supervisor, and an ex-military operative turned bodyguard. After one of their own is kidnapped and the investigation is taken over by the FBI, the now rogue team must pull together their own resources—alone—with a killer waiting to take each one of them out. 



Chapter 1

NOTHING CAPTURED HIS ATTENTION. IT wasn’t as if he wasn’t looking for anything specific or that he didn’t care about anything, but everything became like white noise. Looking down, he spotted a couple squashed beer cans, which had resulted from the constant compression of car tires repeatedly running over them. Now they lay in the gutter unnoticed—as discarded litter. Out of boredom, he kicked the aluminum pancakes with his worn out running shoes. The compressed disks clattered a ways before landing back in a different part of the same gutter, just as his life.
Roger Case was in one of those moods where everything seemed futile. It was a time when his temperament plummeted; he entertained the spirit of defeat, which was becoming more common these days. His concentration slipped farther into the dwindling mindset of drugs and crime to the point of mania. Rationalizing his motives, he preferred to enact self-medication.
He needed something strong to take away his thoughts of negativity. The repetitive movements of his hands and arms worsened. He wanted anything that would take away his fears, his depression, and his unrelenting obsession for the next quick fix. Roger knew that even when he felt the most empowering high that there was a high price to pay—and it was predictable and inevitable—the hard, downward crash.
Roger hadn’t always been teetering on that slippery slope, dangling over the life of crime; in fact, he still remembered when things were normal and even mundane. He grew up in a typical middle class family with his mom and dad, along with his older brother and sister. Reflecting on those memories now, he would trade just about anything to have those times back.
Now he waited with anticipation for his contact. It was going to make everything better—at least for a while. He convinced himself that just a little bit of crystal meth would help him get back on track—to see things clearly again. It wasn’t as if he was a full-blown addict, he just needed something to help motivate and push him in the right direction.
He heard a hollow scraping noise and stopped to listen. Standing quietly, still straining to hear, but that sound never repeated. He looked around. Curious. The sound seemed to resonate in his head instead of around the street. Upon further inspection, he realized it came from inside the cement structure.
The old water treatment plant had been decommissioned by the county some time ago, now outdated, and was nothing more than an eyesore gathering the grime and deteriorating aspects of time gone by. Something loomed in Roger’s vision and waited in darkness—he strained his eyes looking into the long structure that seemed to lead to nowhere.
Maybe his connection made a change of plans and the meeting place was at the cement sinew, and out of sight from any onlookers, or cops happening by on their route. It was possible. At this point in Roger’s life, anything was possible.
Roger contemplated his options for a moment and then decided to check it out. He turned toward the water treatment plant and headed inside. The first thing he noticed was the temperature difference—cold and damp compared to the warmer street areas.
He slowed his pace, unsure if he should call out or announce his presence. Fidgeting nonstop with his hands, pressing his fingers tighter and then releasing them, Roger moved farther into the tunnel.
A shuffling sound came from the other end.
“Hello?” he finally said, his voice weak and tinny which made him unconsciously twitch.
A muffled dragging sound was the responded answer. It resonated from the back-left area.
“Hey, I don’t have time for this… you either want the money or not.” He tried to sound tough but his nerves were frayed. It wasn’t something he was used to feeling. In fact, Roger couldn’t remember the last time he felt scared, frustrated, angry or anxious.
The damp cement tunnel seemed to pull him closer to the heart of it—into the bowels of no return. Instead of turning around and leaving, Roger slowly moved deeper into the cavern. It was as if someone or something else had control over his body. His insatiable curiosity had put him in troubling situations throughout his life. It contributed to him getting into deep trouble with a growing rap sheet to prove it.
Most memories had a calming effect on Roger, which had initiated his fidgeting to cease and his hesitation to subside. He didn’t understand many people’s fears and phobias, most things were just benign and didn’t amount to anything remotely scary or debilitating.
There it was again—a dragging sound followed by what he thought were hushed whispers.
Kids.
He would smack a kid if they jumped out at him or gave him any crap. Most likely, they were tagging gang symbols and looking to get into trouble.
There was the distinct sound of two people whispering to each other.
Roger tried to sharpen his vision but the darkness played tricks on him with weird shadow figure apparitions. He blinked his eyes quickly trying to concentrate on the area and where the kids were hiding; his eyes began to water from the extreme effort. Wiping away the aggravated tears, Roger felt his surroundings close in tightly around him as his perception changed. The darkness seemed to give a strange rippled effect.
The voices became louder. There was nothing sinister about the voices, but they were speaking faster with more of an urgent tone.
“Hey, you little maggots, I know you’re here,” stated Roger.
He stopped and stood still.                                                         
The darkness still loomed around him, but there was a quietness that overcame him.
A brief hundredth of a second, a peculiar whizzing noise filled Roger’s ears and then a brutal blow struck his head and knocked him off his feet. With a ringing in his head and a groggy consciousness, he tried to sit up but more savage blows pummeled his body. It sounded as if a tree splintered just before it fell in the forest. His breath caught in his lungs. Everything went dark.
The anonymous whispers stopped.
All buzzing in his ears stopped.
Roger Case’s heart stopped too.





REVIEW





I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Having previously reviewed and raved about the author's works DEAD COLD and BODY OF THE CRIME, I couldn't wait to read this one!

I love a good series especially when it includes forensics and serial killers! Jennifer Chase has done it again and completely delivered a suspenseful thriller with so much intense action that the scenes come alive to form fresh and intriguing perspectives. Her ability to craft such well developed, yet flawed characters adds so many layers to the unfolding story, while also building upon the anticipation that each point of view offers. 

Chip and Kate's strong personalities continue to play off of one another and creates a fast-paced and intriguing story that is truly difficult to put down. I am such a fan of how the author uses her experience in criminology to craft compelling and truly authentic cases and characters from both the investigative and criminal sides. The story provides so many great examples of how forensics and profiling work, making it a satisfying read for any fan of true crime or crime thrillers. I also thoroughly enjoy how much of the mystery is held onto to so as to keep the reader guessing until the final reveal. The tension is high, the pacing is quick, and the pages fly! This is definitely turning into quite a riveting series that has me hooked! These books are incredibly underrated and an absolute steal on Kindle, so if you love police procedurals that also delve into the psyche of the villain, pick this one up now!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

You can connect with her on:


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Jennifer Chase! It was an absolute pleasure hosting, reading, and reviewing! And be sure to check out the other stops on the BLOG TOUR for more opinions and author extras!

Monday, August 27, 2018

GUEST POST: Scene of the Crime by Jennifer Chase (Suspense)


Greetings Friends!

Today, as part of the Pump Up Your Book blog tour for her latest book in the Chip Palmer forensic mystery series, author Jennifer Chase has graciously provided a GUEST POST discussing whether movies influence how a novel is written!


A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery, #2
by
Jennifer Chase
  
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: JEC Press
Date of Publication: May 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 320





A calculating cold-blooded predator closes in...

When a community has barely recovered from a ruthless serial killer six months earlier; now two more horrifying murders hit the radar again. It leaves police burdened with two of the most shockingly contaminated crime scenes ever documented in California’s law enforcement history. The Slayer works behind the scenes as a sinister puppet master, precisely pulling the strings, taunting the police without leaving any viable evidence, and orchestrating his killer hit squads. 

The sheriff and district attorney bring in the best investigators. Reunited again, Dr. Chip Palmer, a reclusive forensic expert, joins DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to sort through the crime scene aftermath in search of the truth—all without a probable suspect or a solid motive. Complicating the investigation—sparks reignite between the two.

Ratcheting up the suspense, Chip suffers a nasty fall hitting his head, impairing his perception and giving him a mind-blowing ability for specific detailed recall. Palmer and Rawlins assemble an unusual team including a rookie detective, a forensic supervisor, and an ex-military operative turned bodyguard. After one of their own is kidnapped and the investigation is taken over by the FBI, the now rogue team must pull together their own resources—alone—with a killer waiting to take each one of them out. 



Chapter 1

NOTHING CAPTURED HIS ATTENTION. IT wasn’t as if he wasn’t looking for anything specific or that he didn’t care about anything, but everything became like white noise. Looking down, he spotted a couple squashed beer cans, which had resulted from the constant compression of car tires repeatedly running over them. Now they lay in the gutter unnoticed—as discarded litter. Out of boredom, he kicked the aluminum pancakes with his worn out running shoes. The compressed disks clattered a ways before landing back in a different part of the same gutter, just as his life.
Roger Case was in one of those moods where everything seemed futile. It was a time when his temperament plummeted; he entertained the spirit of defeat, which was becoming more common these days. His concentration slipped farther into the dwindling mindset of drugs and crime to the point of mania. Rationalizing his motives, he preferred to enact self-medication.
He needed something strong to take away his thoughts of negativity. The repetitive movements of his hands and arms worsened. He wanted anything that would take away his fears, his depression, and his unrelenting obsession for the next quick fix. Roger knew that even when he felt the most empowering high that there was a high price to pay—and it was predictable and inevitable—the hard, downward crash.
Roger hadn’t always been teetering on that slippery slope, dangling over the life of crime; in fact, he still remembered when things were normal and even mundane. He grew up in a typical middle class family with his mom and dad, along with his older brother and sister. Reflecting on those memories now, he would trade just about anything to have those times back.
Now he waited with anticipation for his contact. It was going to make everything better—at least for a while. He convinced himself that just a little bit of crystal meth would help him get back on track—to see things clearly again. It wasn’t as if he was a full-blown addict, he just needed something to help motivate and push him in the right direction.
He heard a hollow scraping noise and stopped to listen. Standing quietly, still straining to hear, but that sound never repeated. He looked around. Curious. The sound seemed to resonate in his head instead of around the street. Upon further inspection, he realized it came from inside the cement structure.
The old water treatment plant had been decommissioned by the county some time ago, now outdated, and was nothing more than an eyesore gathering the grime and deteriorating aspects of time gone by. Something loomed in Roger’s vision and waited in darkness—he strained his eyes looking into the long structure that seemed to lead to nowhere.
Maybe his connection made a change of plans and the meeting place was at the cement sinew, and out of sight from any onlookers, or cops happening by on their route. It was possible. At this point in Roger’s life, anything was possible.
Roger contemplated his options for a moment and then decided to check it out. He turned toward the water treatment plant and headed inside. The first thing he noticed was the temperature difference—cold and damp compared to the warmer street areas.
He slowed his pace, unsure if he should call out or announce his presence. Fidgeting nonstop with his hands, pressing his fingers tighter and then releasing them, Roger moved farther into the tunnel.
A shuffling sound came from the other end.
“Hello?” he finally said, his voice weak and tinny which made him unconsciously twitch.
A muffled dragging sound was the responded answer. It resonated from the back-left area.
“Hey, I don’t have time for this… you either want the money or not.” He tried to sound tough but his nerves were frayed. It wasn’t something he was used to feeling. In fact, Roger couldn’t remember the last time he felt scared, frustrated, angry or anxious.
The damp cement tunnel seemed to pull him closer to the heart of it—into the bowels of no return. Instead of turning around and leaving, Roger slowly moved deeper into the cavern. It was as if someone or something else had control over his body. His insatiable curiosity had put him in troubling situations throughout his life. It contributed to him getting into deep trouble with a growing rap sheet to prove it.
Most memories had a calming effect on Roger, which had initiated his fidgeting to cease and his hesitation to subside. He didn’t understand many people’s fears and phobias, most things were just benign and didn’t amount to anything remotely scary or debilitating.
There it was again—a dragging sound followed by what he thought were hushed whispers.
Kids.
He would smack a kid if they jumped out at him or gave him any crap. Most likely, they were tagging gang symbols and looking to get into trouble.
There was the distinct sound of two people whispering to each other.
Roger tried to sharpen his vision but the darkness played tricks on him with weird shadow figure apparitions. He blinked his eyes quickly trying to concentrate on the area and where the kids were hiding; his eyes began to water from the extreme effort. Wiping away the aggravated tears, Roger felt his surroundings close in tightly around him as his perception changed. The darkness seemed to give a strange rippled effect.
The voices became louder. There was nothing sinister about the voices, but they were speaking faster with more of an urgent tone.
“Hey, you little maggots, I know you’re here,” stated Roger.
He stopped and stood still.                                                         
The darkness still loomed around him, but there was a quietness that overcame him.
A brief hundredth of a second, a peculiar whizzing noise filled Roger’s ears and then a brutal blow struck his head and knocked him off his feet. With a ringing in his head and a groggy consciousness, he tried to sit up but more savage blows pummeled his body. It sounded as if a tree splintered just before it fell in the forest. His breath caught in his lungs. Everything went dark.
The anonymous whispers stopped.
All buzzing in his ears stopped.
Roger Case’s heart stopped too.





GUEST POST



Can Blockbuster Movies Influence Novels?



I love movies. What else can I say? I have always enjoyed all genres of movies—with my preference for the mystery, suspense, and thriller flicks of course. There was no doubt that my movie enthusiasm (specifically the 1980s action films like Diehard, Lethal Weapon, Terminator, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Predator, Rambo, and many more) helped to shape my novel writing style. I wrote more than a dozen screenplays before writing my first novel, Compulsion.

It is true that many movies are adaptations from bestselling books. What about movie inspiration for a storyline or a character in a novel? Thriller authors can find inspiration from many different sources, such as headlines, high-profile criminals, and even interesting characters that we meet along the way.

What is a screenplay? In a very simple definition, a script is comprised of action and dialogue with action/reaction as the primary building block that sets the pace of the story. It is perfect for the thriller or action adventure story in novels.  I found that my skill as a screenwriter came in handy when I wrote my first thriller novel. In fact, my favorite part of writing a novel is the action scenes.

I enjoy all types of action films, so in my opinion, there is no doubt that moves can influence novels. In my Emily Stone Thriller Series, I’m always working out in my mind how she can catch the bad guy and what type of escape would be exciting and move the story forward. I see scenes visually like it were a movie.

As I outline an action scene in my books, I ask myself questions like:

What pushes the protagonist?
What pushes the antagonist?
What will ultimately be the goal or outcome for all characters involved?
How can these characters use the surrounding areas or limitations to their advantage?
What clever or hair-raising way can the protagonist get out of this predicament?

I don’t think that we’ve seen the last of female actions stars in movies as well as in novels. Time.com wrote about the “future of the female action star” and referred to the female lead’s success of such action thriller films as The Hunger Gameswith Jennifer Lawrence, Underworld series with Kate Beckinsale, Kill Bill with Uma Thurman, Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, and Alien with Sigourney Weaver. Forbes also noted “the rise of the female action hero”, which referred to the movie Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. No, I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of strong female action heroes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

You can connect with her on:


FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  WEBSITE


Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Jennifer Chase! It was an absolute pleasure hosting! I'll be back later in the week with my REVIEW! And be sure to check out the other stops on the BLOG TOUR for more opinions and author extras!

Friday, August 24, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley (Romantic Suspense)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a REVIEW of the mystery JUSTICE BETRAYED by Patricia Bradley, the third book in the Memphis Cold Case series.

JUSTICE BETRAYED
A MEMPHIS COLD CASE MYSTERY, #3
by
PATRICIA BRADLEY
  
Genre: Fiction / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: June 5, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for Giveaway!





It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators—one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken—she’s forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic’s home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend’s killer?

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?



The third installment of Bradley's Memphis Cold Case series focuses on a cold case related to a homicide detective's past...Bradley includes the unique character of Erin who seems as if she is a real person and takes great care to portray her respectfully.” 
RT Book Reviews

CLICK TO PURCHASE








Once you start reading, you'll be all "booked" up trying to figure out if Elvis has left the building!

From the shocking opening action sequence to the pulse-pounding conclusion, this book delivers thrilling suspense and impressive pacing into a well-crafted mystery that will definitely keep you guessing until the very end!

I highly enjoyed that not only do you get the opportunity to solve the case right along with the detectives, there were several chapters devoted to being inside the antagonist's perspective. While this develops a sense of confidence in understanding what is going on, there are so many well done twists and turns that you begin to question everything you thought you knew. Ultimately, it all culminates in an astonishingly dramatic, but satisfying final reveal. 

Rachel and Boone are incredibly relatable characters that were so well developed they seemed to jump off the page! These two make this story about so much more than the romance label or the Elvis hype would suggest and I greatly appreciated the author's focus on the suspense of the story rather than the romance. Both are highly vulnerable with intense baggage and not at all inclined to open themselves up completely to any relationship; however, their interactions and conversations with each other and those around them is inspiring and realistically presented. Issues and past histories surrounding abuse and guilt affect thinking and decision-making but are appropriately confronted as justice is finally served. Additionally, the intriguing cast of secondary characters adds layers to the puzzle while also rounding out some suspicious family dynamics! 

Overall, this highly entertaining read is highly recommended and has set some fairly high expectations for the previous books in the series that I can't wait to start reading! 





Patricia Bradley is the award-winning author of Justice Delayed and Justice Buried, as well as the Logan Point series. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She lives in Mississippi.

You can connect with her on:

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK    TWITTER   

 --------------------------------------- 

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!


(US ONLY)
  August 15-24, 2018

GRAND PRIZE: All Three Books in the Memphis Cold Case Series + Elvis Umbrella + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: All Three Books in the Memphis Cold Case Series
+ $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: All Three Books in the Memphis Cold Case Series
+ $10 Starbucks Gift Card



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Best of Luck!

I hope that you enjoyed today's review and will be adding this book to your reading! Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and especially Patricia Bradley! It was a pleasure hosting and being a part of the tour! And be sure to check out the other blog stops for opinions and author extras!

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
8/15/18
Excerpt Part 1
8/15/18
BONUS post
8/16/18
Excerpt Part 2
8/17/18
Review
8/18/18
Author Video
8/19/18
Review
8/20/18
Character Interview
8/21/18
Review
8/22/18
Excerpt Part 3
8/23/18
Excerpt Part 4
8/24/18
Review

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