The Innocent Man by John Grisham

John Grisham writes his first nonfiction novel. This is one of the best nonfiction stories I have read. This novel is also a legal thriller just like most of his books. I couldn’t wait for the story to unravel – I was completely blown away!

This story follows Ron Williamson, an upcoming and ambitious baseball player widely expected to make the big leagues. Ron’s hopes into the big leagues crashes upon sustaining an arm injury. Consequently, he is dropped by his team – the Yankees. Roy returns home to small town Ada, and while not having anything to occupy him he starts to live the wild life – chasing women, booze and staying out late. Slowly Roy starts exhibiting some form of mental instability and soon, he is diagnosed with some form of mental illness.

Fast forward – Roy Williamson turns into a local bum and when an eighteen year old girl is found murdered, Roy and his friend Fritz are questioned, and with no physical evidence linking them to the murder are charged and found guilty for the crime. Both men are sent to death row where they serve 11 years but later exonerated by DNA evidence and thereupon released.

Grisham writes in compelling detail about the entire legal process. He delves into the intricacies of our legal system in a very engaging style that fans of legal thrillers would find it hard to put the book down. This enthralling true story explores wrongful convictions, criminal injustice, and police incompetence as show cased in the Roy Williamson tragic story.

The Innocent Man is a deeply researched and well written book. This book is a scary reality of how easily and how frequently – in our society innocent people are convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Author – John Grisham
Genre – Nonfiction
Publication Date – 2012
Pages – 448

About The Author:

“Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel…” ~ More

“The Blackhouse” by Peter May

veraoleks:

I found this review highly interesting, sounds like a great read – enjoy!

Originally posted on Fictionophile:

They say that reading is the cheapest form of travel.  In this case it was a wonderful trip.   “The Blackhouse” by Peter May is the first in a trilogy of novels set on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis. The setting was a major factor in the story and the author’s skillful writing transports the reader to Lewis with it’s rich culture and long history."The Blackhouse" by Peter May

However, let us not forget that this is a murder mystery. The protagonist, Fin Macleod was born and brought up on Lewis. He is now a policeman working out of Edinburgh. Fin is very vulnerable as he is in mourning for his broken marriage and for his young son who perished in a hit-and-run.  When a murder occurs on Lewis that resembles one that he is working on – his superiors send him to Lewis to aid in the investigation.  Fin has not…

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He’s Come Undone by Theresa Weir


Set on a a college campus in Minneapolis, three female college students decide to take out revenge on a guy who had broken their hearts at various points. Eileen is chosen as the tool for this revenge but the plan might not necessarily play out as planned. When things start to get out of hand, Eileen is no longer convinced she wants to continue with the arrangement but she had signed a contract with the girls or – is she still able to get out of it?
He’s Come Undone is a sweet romance with a modern twist. A very short light-hearted plot about ‘boy meets girl’, but in this case the reader already knows it is a set up mixed with deceit and vengeance. The story is written from the perspectives of the three main characters Eileen, Julian and Valerie. Each chapter is dedicated to a character as they tell their side of story. As the story unfolds, bold and unexpected events develop adding interest to the plot.

I find the premise of the story very interesting and something to look forward to. It is warm and fuzzy for a good romance novel. But this book could be richer and mind-blowing with some more detail and a deeper exploration of the characters. Eileen started out as a sympathetic character but I couldn’t fully appreciate her for lack of enough information on her. I also didn’t find a solid conflict and enough suspense in the plot to intrigue me.

However, this is a quick and easy read for a nice day (215 pages). I liked it but didn’t particularly fall in love with the story. I’ll describe it as heartfelt, romantic and cozy. I will definitely suggest this title to readers who enjoy sweet romance – and this one is really short too!

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Author – Theresa Weir
Publication Date – February 25, 2014
Pages – 215
Setting – Minneapolis

About The Author:

Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six books and numerous short stories that have spanned the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, fantasy, and memoir.
Read more ~Blurb and img from Amazon

Fox Hunt by S. M. Stelmack

Brian Chanse a high adrenaline stunt guy picks up a hitchhiker on the highway who looks almost dead. Out of compassion, he revives her and is curious about her story. Delta (alias Fox) is running for her life from underground gangsters. Not having any cash on her, she’s hitchhiking her way back to L.A. to investigate who wants her dead. Meanwhile, Brian is much fascinated by the girl and offers to help her which she refuses. Much later in the story, their paths cross again, with a hired assassin on their trail…

Fox Hunt is a fine blend of romance, mystery and suspense. The beginning chapters are gripping and fast paced urging the reader to look for more. A well thought out plot and heavily developed characters. However, on getting to about 3/4 of the pages, I found the story losing some steam and a couple irrelevant details added towards the end. The fireworks between Brian and Delta got unnecessarily long. I found the car chase a little muddled and the art of weaving in flashbacks became somewhat clumsy. At a point, it started to seem as though the author was looking for ways to stretch out the story as much as possible. I am not one to give up on a story, so I prodded on to the end.

This book has a fascinating story line but would do better with more compelling elements throughout the book to sustain readers’ interest.
I give it 3 Stars.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Author – S. M. Stelmack
Publisher – S. M. Stelmack; Second edition (November 13, 2013)
Pages – 306 pages
Location – L.A.

About The Author:
S. M. Stelmack is our pen name, short for Serge & Moira Stelmack. We aim to give what we like in a story— gutsy men and women, high stakes and LOL lines. Serge is the storymaster who blasts out the beginning, middle and end. Moira comes behind, clucking and hemming, as the story undergoes countless rewrites till it meets our vision…More @ smstelmackauthor.com

Jenny: Virtuous No More by Nora Blackstock

Jenny was a good, devoted wife. When her marriage to husband Mark grew distant, she took matters into her own hands to find out if he still loved her. He did, but his confession, and the things he wanted her to do, were shocking. To save her marriage, Jenny embarked on a sexual journey from which there was no turning back. She would no longer be the “good girl” that everyone knew and loved…” ~ Blurb from Amazon

My Take:
This publication previously came out in five parts. I’m glad that I received the complete set of the e-book and read the entire 171 pages in just a couple of hours. And – here’s what I think…

After seven years of marriage with both Mark and Jenny working full-time, pressures of work start to put stress on their seven-year marriage. As Jenny and Mark would begin to worry that the intimacy between them is shriveling down to almost nothing, they individually started to nurse the fear about how this might further affect their marriage. Until one day to her utmost surprise, Jenny  discovers a secret on Mark’s computer, and confronts him.  This causes Mark to make a shocking proposal to his wife. Jenny his conservative suburban wife – not so much into much experimentation now has a dilemma. However, she is determined to work on her marriage – but at what cost? This incident – is to set in motion a series of events that would deeply affect their marriage.  
 
Jenny: Virtuous No More is a compelling story which draws the reader in quickly right from the first page! This is no ordinary romance but a fast paced racy adventure with a surprise twist. Done in simple and straight forward tone, this engaging narrative will keep the reader wanting for more…  The author did a beautiful job in character development as it relates to Mark and Jenny. Incorporating occasional flash backs is skillfully used to round their characters and keep up the pace.   I thought it was smart of Ms. Blackstock to weave in the final plot thread – which added an interesting dimension to the plot.

This is a beautifully written work, with explicit detailed intimate scenes that leap right off the pages.  A well constructed emotional and passionate book which I believe erotic romance readers would eat up! This book would also be a good introduction to those wanting to explore this genre.

I received an electronic copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

61 HOURS -Jack Reacher by Lee, Child

Given how much I love mystery thrillers I can’t believe I never read any Lee Child’s books especially his popular Jack Reacher series. I have to tell you, all the accolades given to these series are well deserved. I borrowed an ebook copy from my local library which I read over the weekend.

Already, there are a lot of reviews about this book so I will go ahead and list some important take aways – From the title – 61 Hours you can already tell this is a count down to a major event. Jack Reacher the protagonist, an ex military man turned private investigator is a drifter. This time he hitches a ride and finds himself in a rural small town that has very limited police capabilities. As things begin to happen, a sense of an impending doom is imminent. The count down is already on which keeps you at the edge of the seat.

The author writes in simple and straight forward language – only facts that are relevant to the story – no fluff, all read meat. The book starts at a break neck speed and continues that way. The writing is third person POV, so the reader sees every angle which increases suspense.

The plot is complex where you peel away the narrative like an onion. The author creates various plot threads with each chapter ending in a cliff hanger. I love that the author takes time to build relatable characters. The reader gets to know the characters well enough where you establish some connection. As a result, I really found it hard letting some of the characters go at the end of the book.

This is a book to read when you have enough time to devote to it because you can’t put it down. Your heart’s racing and you feel you’re on roller coaster ride!

I’m not usually a huge fan of series, but I like that Jack Reacher series do not have to be read in order. Even though this is #14 in the Jack Reacher series, you can start from any book without feeling as though you’re missing anything.

If you’re a mystery thriller fan and haven’t read this book, please do yourself a great favor by grabbing one!

I really would like to read a similar book from a new author, please feel free to suggest anyone, I would really appreciate it!!

Author – Child, Lee
Publication – 2010
Pages – 528
Location – South Dakota

About the Author:

“Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. “Jack Reacher”, the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter”~ Amazon

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela


As soon as the news of President Mandela’s death broke last December, I was compelled to read this book to get a better understanding of this great man not just as president, but as an ordinary human being – a son, a father, a husband and a political activist.

This is Mandela’s compelling autobiography starting from his early days in his rural home town in South Africa through his incarceration for 27 years and eventual release in 1990. This book not only gives detailed account of the events of apartheid in South Africa, but it also takes a comprehensive look into the history of South Africa, Mandela’s lineage, the various tribal groups as well as the culture of the people of South Africa.

Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom goes on to recount the enactment of apartheid laws, institutionalization of racial discrimination and subsequent formation of the various political parties. This book is very informative with lots of shocking facts and horrendous revelations of oppressions suffered by blacks under the colonial regime. The fact that the story is from Mandela’s perspective make this book the more heart-wrenching. You will find a lot of important detail not generally known out there that occurred during this time in history. I find this a well written book which totally immerses the reader into the in humanities suffered by the black the people in South Africa and the resilience of the human spirit. I also love that Mandela bares his mind as he discusses his strengths while at the same time, talks about his weaknesses, his regrets and failures – all without any reservations.

This story is done in clear, frank and convincing tone. The conversational style employed by Mandela make Long Walk to Freedom a quick and easy read.

Highly recommended for anyone still curious about apartheid in South Africa. Engrossing, introspective, and thought-provoking!

Author – Nelson Mandela
Pages – 565
Published – 1995
South Africa