Over the last few weeks I read and listened to a few Crime Thrillers/Suspense/Police Procedurals. Each of these books were provided to me by the publishers upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Right Motive (Murder in Alaska #0.5) by Christina Dodd, Vanessa Johansson (Narrator)
Published September 28th 2021 by Harlequin Audio
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is a very short novella set in Rockin’ Alaska, the setting of Christina Dodd’s Murder in Alaska series. Chief Dumas is a new Cajun Police Chief, and he is trying to clean up a corrupt police force. New police officer, Gabriella Donatti, is a local and helps Chief Dumas solve the case of several Bigfoot sightings. There is also a sting operation set up to catch the dirty cops, but Gabriella’s aunt gets a premonition and sends her to help. A fast paced, interesting story that was a nice story to listen to over a couple of hours. I enjoy Christina Dodd’s stories with her well written stories, great characters and interesting mysteries. I am looking forward to more books set in Rockin’ Alaska. This audiobook was narrated by Vanessa Johansson. I always enjoy her performances as she uses her voice to give personality, emotion and expression to the characters.
Last Seen Alone by Laura Griffin, Cynthia Farrell (Narrator)
Published September 21st 2021 by Dreamscape Media
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Last Seen Alone is the first book I have read or listened to by Laura Griffin. I enjoyed this story and will look for more. Brandon Reynolds is an Austin homicide detective, who is called out to a possible crime scene. There is an abandoned car with blood stains, but no body. The missing owner of the car is Vanessa Adams and in her belongings is a business card for Attorney Leigh Larson. Leigh Larson is a workaholic lawyer, who is making a name for herself taking cases involving sexual harrasment, stalking, revenge porn and personal crimes against women. When a determined cop, Brandon Reynolds, comes to her with questions about what Vanessa Adams needed her services for, Leigh couldn’t recall the case or the woman. With Vanessa missing, Brandon tries to reconstruct her recent past and the contact with Leigh is the only clue he has. Leigh is determined to find out what happened to Vanessa and that puts her squarely in Brandon’s path and in his case. A case that is not at all as it appears and takes them on a path of misleading evidence and twisted turns.
This is a contemporary romantic suspense story. Both Leigh and Brandon have a physical attraction to the other immediately upon meeting. As they work together trying to figure out whether Vanessa is even still alive and who had reason to harm her, Leigh and Brandon grow closer and their attraction sizzles. I really enjoyed this fast paced story and thought the mystery was done really well. There were clues scattered throughout that had me listening far into the night to find out whodunnit. There were some shocking twists and turns that made it even better. Of course there were some cute scenes with our lead detective, Brandon Reynolds, and lawyer turned part-time sleuth, Leigh Larson. This is a real page turner that any romantic suspense fan will devour. The narration was performed by Cynthia Farrell, a new-to-me narrator. It took me some time to get used to her somewhat stilted, matter-of-fact reading style, but the more I listened, the more I settled in and enjoyed. She does a good job with the voices, but I found her voice rather dry. I do recommend this one, as it it an entertaining story.
One Left Alive (Detective Morgan Brookes #1) by Helen Phifer
Published September 1st 2020 by Bookouture
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
One Left Alive is the first book in the Detective Morgan Brookes series by Helen Phifer. I read the second and third books first, but wanted to go back and read the first where we meet Detective Brookes and learn about her beginnings. Rookie Detective Morgan Brookes is on her first day alone on patrol when a call comes in about a woman who is found hanging from a tree. She is the first on the scene and is sure there is more to the case. At this time, her husband and two daughters are also missing. Morgan asks to go back to the house and on this second trip, she finds the rest of the family in the cellar, one of them barely alive, the other two dead. Morgan is in the right place at the right time, when the force is shorthanded and Ben Matthews asks her to join CID since he sees her potential. The more she investigates, the more she uncovers. Will they find the murderer before anyone else ends up dead.
I enjoyed meeting Morgan, learning about her past as well as seeing what a natural investigator she is. She works well with the team, but also follows her hunches which are instrumental in solving the case. She has some personal problems to deal with that include some harassment from another officer. She also has a tenuous relationship with her father that comes to play in this investigation. Helen Phifer does a good job balancing a gripping plot with steady character development. This thriller is from the POV of a young woman trying to prove herself and that she has the skills to do the job. I really enjoyed the back and forth between Morgan and Ben, her supervisor. It is a great start to a friendship, partnership and maybe even a romance in the future. Ben also has some issues to sort out and he and Morgan share some of that with each other. There are other team members that are partially developed and I hope we will see more of them as this series progresses. This is a promising start to the series. It was a well written, fast paced police procedural/crime thriller and did not have a dull moment with twists throughout. I recommend this book and series and suggest that they are best read in order as there is character development throughout. If you enjoy police procedurals or crime thrillers, then pick this book up, you won’t be disappointed.