The Taste Of Dust

15779402The Taste Of Dust by Murdo Morrison is the story of Andrew McIntyre. He was born into the working class tenements of Glasgow Scotland and this book covers six decades of his life along with the rest of his family. This is a story of love, loss, troubled families, finding yourself and learning to start a new life. In short it’s about life itself.

While The Taste Of Dust is a stand alone novel it continues the story of The McIntyre family who we first met in Roses Of WinterWhile that story covered the World War 2 era, this book covers the next generation of the family and what happened after the war. You could say that this is a coming of age novel but it goes farther than that as we follow Andrew from birth to old age.

Murdo Morrison has written a great book about life. Where The Roses Of Winter was about a family’s struggle during the war and was more of a historical fiction book, this one is just simply about a working class family and there experiences and the setting wasn’t as important. I come from a working class background myself and found it easy to relate to all the characters in this book.

We get to see how Andrew feels about his family with his mother Ellen being always emotional and his father Donald being quiet all the time. Andrew doesn’t think highly of his mother and feels his dad isn’t a good person to talk to about emotional problems such as his feelings towards the opposite sex. This effects Andrew and he leaves his family in Scotland and heads to London and eventually America.

I loved seeing Andrew deal with  his emotions and learning how to deal with his feelings about women. One part I liked in the story was how Andrew talks about his family, he seems to think his family is horrible but as I read the book I wondered if his family was as bad as he says it was. At one point the woman who would become his wife, Sarah points out that his family isn’t that bad. I loved this scene because that was what I was thinking. With Andrew being so close to them its easy to think of them as bad but  an outsider would look at them and say they seem like a normal family. This is how I saw the McIntyers in the book, this is a normal family. Ellen has problems but she has her good points and Donald may have things in his life that he is unhappy about but you see that not everything in his life is bad. His son thinks Donald regrets never moving to America but we see that Donald has always kept a good job and has seen America and a lot of other places as part of that job. Maybe Donald and Ellen had their problems but they show on several occasions that not everything is as bad as Andrew thinks and they impress Sarah when they meet her. You except the good with the bad and that’s part of life.

Whether you like this book or not depends on what you’re looking for. There is no major conflict in this book that a character is trying to resolve. This book is about dealing with the every day struggles that everyone deals with. My only problem with this book is how the author would talk about a period of time in Andrew’s life and then jump ahead several years to a another period. Six decades are a long time to cover in someone’s life and that is the only drawback. The Taste Of Dust is a very personal book that I found hard to put down. There is a lot of sadness in this book but there are happy parts as well. As I said before this book is about life itself.




Rise Of The Iron Eagle

E7CDEE61-EF0A-4089-AD8D-747D96C5DA91Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the United States and probably home to more then one serial killer. When you live in a city as big as L.A. you have to accept that there will be a lot of crime and the police can’t stop it all or catch all the serial killers out there. There is someone who is on the police’s side and has been hunting down serial killers for twenty years. They call him the Iron Eagle and his real identity is unknown.

The Iron Eagle is not your normal serial killer, he catches other serial killers and gets them to confess to their crimes. He then Sends proof to the police and  meticulously tortures then kills his victims. The police believe that he may have killed innocent people also and have put together a task force to find the Eagle and bring him to justice. The problem is when you mess with the Iron Eagle you might end up on his cutting table.

Rise Of The Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel Jr. is a brutal book. I like the concept of a serial killer who hunts serial killers but this book was almost to hard-core for me. I’m a horror fan and I have no problem with violence in books but this one was over the top. I found some of the sexual torture in this book to be hard to read and almost couldn’t get through it. That being said whether you like this book or not will depend on how much violence you can take.

I think my problem with this book is that I’m not use to reading books that have so much realistic violence. When you read Rise Of The Iron Eagle you know that people have gone through this kind of torture and its a little hard to stomach. If you can handle the violence though, what you will find in this book is a good mystery and a well told story. I thought from the beginning that I knew who the Eagle was but I wasn’t even close and the author kept me guessing throughout. Also all the police and FBI agents came across as realistic and how I think law enforcement agents would act. I like how when the Iron Eagle interrogates someone he follows the law during the interrogation. It’s like he looks at himself as helping the police because the police can’t handle all the evil that’s out there. I was rooting for the Eagle despite him being a vigilante.

On the downside I felt the author was trying too hard to be shocking and that’s usually a turn off for me but there was enough to like about this book where I got past the excessive violence. Some of the little things in this book made it a good read. Such as the bar where anyone who’s in law enforcement drinks for free because the owner treats those who risk their lives. Another time there is a homeless man who gets questioned about a murder and we see that he’s not like you would expect a homeless man to act. This book gives a realistic look at the police and shows what they  put up with in the field and puts them in a positive light. Crime Fiction fans will love Rise Of The Iron Eagle and the sequels that are available.

ALL Iron Eagle Books

Two from S.K. Thomas

7692740Melissa was looking for something different, she moved from Tupolo to Barrington in search of a new life and some excitement. As soon as she gets into town she gets more than she bargained for when she has a run in with a police officer named Max and is left wondering if she should be afraid. After the incident she meets a new friend named Alice, gets a job in a telemarketing firm and marries a man named John. Things are going well until Alice disappears and Max becomes the main suspect. Melissa is determined to find out what happened and gets help from her husband along with a detective named Jack and soon finds herself as a part of a dangerous game.

Pawned Queen by SK Thomas is a mystery novella that I had my issues with. First of all the general story was pretty good but the way it was told was a little confusing. The book seems to jump around from the future, past and present without explaining that we are going to a different time period and in some cases it is done within a chapter. Also I thought there was too much happening to Melissa within a short period of time. She moves, gets married, has a strange run in with a cop, then gets a new friend and then deals with her disappearance. Also mentioning that Melissa knew an Alice in the past seemed unnecessary.

Pawned Queen is an entertaining read despite its flaws. I still wanted to know what was going to happen and I liked how Melissa’s character changed in the course of the book. I think this book may have been better if it was a little longer and it was a little more clear when we switched to different time periods. Pawned Queen is a book that has its moments and I think mystery fans will enjoy it.

27134949Transcending Queen by S.K. Thomas is the second book in the Pawned Queen series and life has not been going smoothly for Melissa. She is in debt, feeling depressed and now Jack is at her door trying to get her to work on a new case with their detective agency. Even though she doesn’t feel like going back to work, she does what she has to do. Now Melissa has to go to a church and investigate Father Clayton who is being accused of manipulating the trust of the church goers. Things get complicated as Melissa takes a liking to Father Clayton and what’s going on at the church is not what it seems.

I loved the character of Melissa in this book, she has  grown from the events in Pawned Queen. She goes from a woman who is meek and fearful to a woman who has issues but shows how tough she is in Transcending Queen.  Melissa is a woman who does what she has to do to survive even though she is coming apart at the seems. In addition to some good characters in this book, SK Thomas also gives us another good mystery.

All the complaints I had about Pawned Queen were fixed in Transcending Queen, the writing was improved and the story was better than the first book. The story doesn’t go where you think its going to go and it was interesting watching Melissa decide what she wants to do about Father Clayton. Sometimes the difference between good and evil isn’t so clear-cut and deciding the right course of action isn’t easy. This was an entertaining read and as the Pawned Queen series keeps getting better, I’m left to wonder where the next book in the series will go.

Onyx Webb: Book 1

25414725Onyx Webb: Book One by  Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz is a hard book to describe. It’s a little like a soap opera set in different time periods, different locations and with a supernatural element thrown in for good measure. The story for Onyx Webb is a complex one, we start off with four storys and then each story evolves into something bigger.

First of all we have the story of a young girl named Onyx Webb who is going to the 1904 World’s Fair with her Cajun father Catfish. At the fair she is abducted my a strange woman who has also kidnapped other children. We also have a story of Onyx in the present day as a ghost who needs to kill to feel alive. Throughout the book we find out what happened to Onyx and we are introduced to other characters and stories. Another story we have is of Juniper Cole, a piano prodigy who was kidnapped on the way to her prom in 1979. Our fourth story begins in 2010 and follows the sexiest man alive Koda Mulvaney who has just blown through a $20 million dollar trust fund and has seen something odd that changes his life.

There you have it, this is the story of Onyx Webb. My description of the story may sound confusing, but if you start to read it everything does make  sense and little by little you see a connection between each story. In the beginning of the book the authors state that this is meant to be a nine book series with multiple stories, characters, settings and time periods. You really can’t describe whats going on in this book in a couple of paragraphs. What I can say about this book is that if you like soap operas you will enjoy this book.

This was an odd book for me, I found myself complaining that there wasn’t enough action but then again this book didn’t need it. There are several mysteries going on at the same time and the characters are so interesting that I couldn’t put it down. Right from the beginning this book hooks you with a poem from Onyx where she says she wants to be alive again and you are wondering what happened to her.

I loved the historical references in this book including the details on the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair and the Great Depression. Though most of all I like the character of Onyx. The woman is a complete mystery and we see how she changes throughout time, what we don’t know is how she got to be the way she is. To talk to much about her would ruin the story but I loved how in the beginning we see her as an innocent child and then we see her going through life making mistakes and living with the consequences. It’s easy to relate to Onyx because everyone makes mistakes like she does and you have to keep reading to find out how she became a ghost.

I struggled to find the best way to describe this book but it’s like a spider’s web. There are a lot of different things going on but its all connected and the main mystery here is how it’s connected and what is the central plot? This book can also be described as a massive painting that you can stare at for hours and get several different meanings out of. Even though I’m having a hard time describing this book, I thought it was a great read and I’m looking forward to more installments.

Goin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker & The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive

7968358_origGoin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker & The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive by Rhoda D’Ettore is two books in one. The first half of the book focuses on true stories from working in a post office. This part of the book  follows a woman named Jessica and her experiences in the post office.

I like how Rhoda sets up Going Postal. She has worked for USPS and states that United States Postal workers are the hardest working people she has ever known.  She how diverse the workers there are, the post office has people of different ages, backgrounds and cultures working in the same building with a common goal. If you ever worked a blue-collar job you can relate to the people that she is talking about here. You have stories of 12 hour work days, racist co-workers, sexist co-workers and drugs and gambling on the job. You also get stories of how people show compassion to their fellow workers and help each other out when someone needs it. Going Postal is a great look at what an American work place is like and shows that no matter where you might work you will come away with some great stories to tell.

The second half of this book is called:  The Creek: Where Stories Of The Past Come Alive. This work of historical fiction is a collection of short stories focusing on people living through different eras in the same neighborhood over 200+ years. This novella has humor, sadness, love, heart-break, murder and lots of surprises. It also covers the Revolutionary War, World War 1, Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, The Great Depression, the Women’s Rights movement and how they all effected one neighborhood in the United States.

I don’t feel that I’m giving anything away here when I say that the point of The Creek is to show how every neighborhood has a history and a story to tell if you’re willing to look for it. This neighborhood had some great stories to tell, I liked how what was happening in American history at the time effected the stories and how the neighborhood changed with the times. Reading this book reminded me how much fun reading can be and made me wonder what interesting stories have happened in the neighborhoods that I’ve lived in.

This is the third book I’ve read by Rhoda D’Ettore and I have to say she is a gifted storyteller. When I read a book I try to guess where a story is going to go and if I can guess, it wasn’t a good book. With Rhoda’s books you have to sit back and enjoy the ride because its impossible to predict what’s going to happen next.  It seems like Rhoda’s goal in writing is to keep you entertained and to throw a few surprises your way. In the second half of this book, no one was safe as Rhoda introduced characters, made you like them, have them do things you didn’t think they would do and sometimes meet an untimely demise. When I finished this book I couldn’t stop smiling and I found myself taking a look to see what other books she has available.