Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Psychological #Thriller – Warning Signs by Carol Balawyder


I have read some amazing books in the last twelve months and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

Today I am sharing my review from February 2020 for Carol Balawyder  – A psychological thriller – Warning Signs: A novel about Obsession.

About the book

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?

Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.

Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

My review for Warning Signs February 22nd 2020.

This is definitely a novel about obsession. The serial killer with finding the source of his need to murder, the detective who has his own demons and is determined to track down the killer, and the vulnerable Angie who lost her childhood to the need to care for her addicted mother.

Clearly Carol Balawyder had researched the background for her characters in depth, and instead of presenting us with gory details, she slowly peels back the layers that both killer and victims have built up around childhood trauma and surviving in the ‘system’. We are all flawed but when does that become a full-blown obession with murder? Why these particular victims that are already vulnerable?

Eugene is aware of what he is, but researches other killers to find out why he has this need and how he might be stopped. Angie might just offer a way back from this madness, but is he expecting too much from her by putting the responsibility for his redemption on her fragile shoulders?

Detective Darren Van Ray has a gut feeling about Eugene but he has been wrong before and he now must get up close and personal to prove his case.

Carol Balawyder does an excellent job of keeping the pace and tension tight throughout the story, and there are some surprises along the way as the three individuals test their own strength against each other and what life throws at them.

If you would like to get into the mind of a serial killer and enjoy a subtle and carefully crafted thriller you will enjoy Warning Signs.

Read the reviews and buy the book : Amazon US  and: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Carol Balawyder

Read reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder

About Carol Balawyder

Carol was born in Quebec but now lives in Montreal. After studying Early Childhood Education and spending time amongst the mayhem that is called ‘Kindergarten’, she then went on to obtain a B.A. in Education so that she could teach in High Schools. After the often challenging task of introducing poetry to teenagers Carol moved on to teaching English as a second language.

Fast forward through a trip in her early 20s (involved working passage on a Norwegian cargo ship) to Rotterdam and then to the British Library Museum to read the heavily guarded original Lewis Carroll manuscript of Alice in Wonderland. Then on to Concordia University in Montreal to study Applied Linguistics to M.A level and the publication of ESL books Open For Business and Windows on Sci-Tech under the name of Carol Ann Foumier.

Then came the desire to pen crime novels, and aware that it is expected that these be accurate and factual, Carol obtained a M.Sc. in Criminology. However writing crime stories was put on the back burner, as Carol put her degree to good use, teaching Police Technology and Corrections for 18 years in a college in Montreal. (We all know where to go when we have a crime story line that is not panning out!)

For some people the connection between crime and dating is all too apparent particularly when getting back on the dating scene after a divorce. After a long term relationship the prospect can be daunting and fraught with pitfalls, humour if you can find it and perhaps the need to kiss a lot of frogs.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Carol’s book and will head over to Amazon to check out all of her work.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – #psychologicalthriller Carol Balawyder, #Murdermystery Diana J. Febry, #War #Afghanistan Patricia Furstenberg


Welcome to the first of the author updates for the week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author is Carol Balawyder for her latest release Warning Signs: A Novel about Obsession.

About the book

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?

Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.

Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

One of the early reviews for the book

I always enjoy reading Balawyder’s novels; their emphasis falls as much on character introspection as it does storytelling. In “Warning Signs,” a young woman struggles to understand her jealous and cruel new boyfriend, a killer tries to discover what it is that makes him kill, and a detective bearing the scars of a botched arrest must regain his footing. Together the three of them unravel the interconnected threads of this psychological thriller. It’s a smooth read with fluid prose and a rich Canadian setting.

Buy the book: Amazon US

and : Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Carol Balawyder

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And on: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Carol on: Goodreads

Connect to Carol on her blog: Carol Balawyder

The next author with a recent review is Diana. J. Febry for the murder mystery Bells on her Toes.

About the book

A stand-alone mystery featuring DCI Peter Hatherall.
The police are baffled by the discovery of a stranger shot in the forehead in a disused barn. When people connected to Elmsgrove Racing Stables start turning up dead the race is on to uncover how the stranger is connected to the area and who is behind the murders.
The racing community is about to learn their deadliest enemy may be someone close. The quiet drinker in the corner of the pub may be a serial killer. And the crazy drunk may be the key to unlocking the mystery.

A classic murder mystery.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’ve read several books by this author and haven’t been disappointed. Happily, this story entertained me as much as the others. It’s an English small village detective story with a mystery set in the world of horse racing with a death in a racing yard, and the author give a great insight into that world. Lead detective, Peter Hatherall, investigates the murder. There is an array of suspects and some red herrings but the author has done an excellent job giving the main ones plausible cause to commit murder. Working out ‘who done it’ as the mystery deepens and body count escalates is challenging for the detectives and the reader. Characters have been well created and the plot is well-paced and imaginative with numerous twists and turns, so there is a lot to keep tabs on but ultimately rewarding. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

and: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Diana J. Febry

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on: Goodreads

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: Diana J. Febry

And the final author today  is Patricia Furstenberg with a recent review for her latest release  Silent Heroes. 

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

Silent Heroes follows a group a US Marines on a mission in Afghanistan to remove a Taliban stronghold in the mountains. They’re a canine unit with war dogs trained to sniff out explosives.

I don’t know if the author served in the Middle East, but if she didn’t, her research is phenomenal. She provides vivid details about daily life during a deployment, as well as the complexities of carrying out a mission, dealing with the constant threat of IEDs (bombs), and working with the local population. Small details – like carrying lollipops in a medkit and assembling a birthday cake out of Rice Krispies and jam – made the story come to life.

There’s plenty of action, battles, explosions, rescues, and all-around danger. And plenty of heart, not only between the soldiers, but between the men and their dogs. The main characters are well-drawn with unique personalities and varying backstories. The civilian population is portrayed with a range of characters, young and old, some of them terrorized by the Taliban but also courageous in the face of fear.

The story is told in an omniscient point of view, and woven into the narrative is an overview of the political history of the country including interference by other nations, particularly Britain, Russia, and the US. That said, this isn’t a political book with a particular bias. It’s a human story about marines and their dogs on a mission. Highly recommended for readers of war stories.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Patricia Furstenberg

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Patricia: Goodreads

Connect to Patricia via her blog: Alluring Creations

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.