Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Book Tour: Angela Kay's Crime Thrillers (Reviews+Giveaway)

I Can Kill
by Angela Kay
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller

I Can Kill, and You Can't Catch Me...
These were the last words The Carnations Killer said to FBI Special Agent Aidan O'Reilly ten years ago before he went into hiding. He has tortured and murdered fifty women since then and managed to elude capture. Now, he's returned once again, and his new hunting ground is Augusta, GA.
O'Reilly teams up with Shaun Henderson, the special agent in charge of the Augusta Resident Agency, to bring this ruthless killer to justice once and for all. But as each second ticks by, tensions rise and O'Reilly finds himself in a race against time before the killer slips away again.

Testimonial featured on the back of the book:
A gripping new thriller by Angela Kay that pits FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly against the Carnations Killer, a serial killer who enjoys playing Cat and Mouse with this formidable agent.” -- Dana Ridenour, retired FBI Agent and award winning author of Behind The Mask and Beyond The Cabin

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

I Can Kill by Angela Kay is a standalone story. In this book, we’re introduced to FBI agent Aidan O’Reilly. A serial killer he has hunted in the past has appeared again and left a note for him. Aidan is drawn back into hunting down the serial killer who seems to make no mistakes and enjoys taunting Aidan.

I really liked Aidan’s character, but with reading all three of Angela Kay’s books back to back, I noticed similar characteristics between Aidan and Jim Delong, for example not sleeping. It seems like these men would be able to focus on the little things in a case if they slept. Something else they have in common is their choice in a partner. Much like Jim’s wife doesn’t like him being a detective, Aidan’s girlfriend doesn’t like him working in the field. Can I ask a question here, why do women date and/or marry a man knowing what he does for a living and then want him to quit/change jobs? It’s one thing if this is a new profession but another if it’s one that was already happening. Sorry, that has nothing to do with the book, just something I’ve always wondered. ;-)

I liked Aidan and I liked Shaun, who he partnered with and hope there are more stories to come. This story allows you to follow along in the investigation. But the story also has points of view from the killer so we get to see something different than the investigation. This review is hard for me to write because I struggled to get into the story, and that just makes no sense to me. I think I’m in a little book slump, so I’m definitely going to reread it again in a few months and see if I can connect better with the characters and the storyline! This has every element in a psychological thriller that I love. I’d definitely recommend reading this book and this author. She’s written three books so far and her writing continues to grow and get stronger!

Rating: 4 stars (for now)!

The Murder of Manny Grimes
The Cases of Lieutenant DeLong #1
By Angela Kay
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

When three young boys stumble into Lieutenant Jim DeLong's life one night during a winter storm, they claim they've seen a dead body by the swing sets of the Columbia County Elementary School. After he investigates, DeLong sees no evidence, not even a body. But were the boys telling the truth?

With the help of his oldest friend and mentor, former Naval investigator Russ Calhoun, DeLong sets out to find whether Manny Grimes is alive or dead. The further away he gets to the bottom of the mystery, the closer he comes to realize that his own life is falling apart.

Delving deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, Lieutenant DeLong begins to unravel, losing his sense of control, falling into old temptations he spent years to overcome. Will he be able to move past his own demons and untangle the web of lies before it's too late?

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

The Murder of Manny Grimes is the first book following Lieutenant Jim Delong. This is not strictly a murder mystery book, there’s a lot going on within the pages of this book. There’s relationship drama, cheating drama, religion, murder, mystery, drinking and paranormal. Some I enjoyed, some I did not.

This story is told from multiple points of view, but predominantly from Jim’s. Jim’s life and behavior are out of control and in this book, they seem to spiral even further. There’s so much going on in his life that he seems to not be able to focus on his job. Jim was a tough character for me to like. I wanted to, but I really needed him to step up his game. There are a lot of characters in this book, so you really have to pay attention.

The police procedural parts of this story were sloppy. I’m supposed to believe Jim Delong is an amazing detective, but he enters a house without a warrant? He touches evidence without gloves? He does only a superficial search for a body? It was mentioned a couple of times about a woods behind the school/playground, but no one ever considered looking there for a body? Or you know, in the school where the missing man worked? I had hoped to see what made him an amazing detective but this story didn’t show that. I spent a little too much time focused on crime lab technicians working alongside detectives in the investigation outside of the lab.

There was a lot of the story taken up by his relationship with his wife, an affair, the fallout from said affair, and marriage counseling. I was not a fan. His wife cheated on him, but it was his fault. She cheated on him with his best friend and they both blamed him. And, he beat himself up for it. Seriously? Much like the lack of following police procedures, I didn’t think highly of Jim in these situations. I get it, he was shocked by the affair, but to continue to allow the guilty parties to blame him and to go along with it? But, Jim finds religion again and that’s going to make it all better. I avoid any books with any religious angle so after the first couple of mentions, I skipped it in the story.

As with religion, I tend to skip stories with paranormal elements. Jim seems to only be “good” at his job because the ghost of the dead person leads him to his body and to clues. Overall, not my favorite addition to a story. From the ghost’s perspective, maybe he’s annoyed because Jim can’t seem to get it together and focus on finding his body and arresting the killer?

Overall, this book has potential. I think I could have really enjoyed it if the focus had been on the murder and mystery without all the other storylines, or maybe with less of them. And, of course, tighten up police procedural and let Jim’s actions prove that he’s such a great detective, not the words. If you’re a fan of books with murder, with romantic elements, paranormal elements, and some religion, this is a book for you.

Rating: 4 stars

Blood Runs Cold
The Cases of Lieutenant DeLong #2

A young woman has been murdered at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and Lieutenant Jim DeLong realizes at first sight this case will be the most difficult one of his career. DeLong is immediately swept into the memories of his childhood and dark secrets he's longed to forget. 

The victim is his sister-in-law, and old thoughts he's fought to delete will be resurrected whether DeLong likes it or not. He and his brother have been estranged by unhappy times in their youth. With no clear motive, DeLong questions his ability to remain objective.

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

Blood Runs Cold is the second book following Lieutenant Jim Delong. The books don’t denote that they’re connected so I’m glad I made sure to read in the order of publishing. Jim’s life has seemed to stabilize in this story. He and his wife seem to have worked things out, but with the murder of his sister-in-law, new elements of family drama are added to Jim’s life. I thought the author did a great job of managing the mystery, police procedures and family drama in this book. I did think Jim spent too much time managing his brother instead of investigating, but otherwise, a much more enjoyable story.

The police procedures in this book were much better than the first. Jim and the other characters wore gloves when handling pieces of evidence, much different than the first book. As with the first book, I still found the lab technician working in the field alongside Jim as his partner distracting. Distracting enough that I quit reading to look up job descriptions to see if this is typical job function.

As with the first book, the story is told from multiple points of view, with Jim being the predominant voice. I enjoyed the investigation into the murder, and knew pretty early on who the killer was, even though the author tried to trick me into thinking differently! But, unlike the first book, I really felt I could follow along in the investigation and try to figure out the murderer. There are a lot of twists and turns, plus we have to navigate the history of Jim and his brother and their relationship.

The author’s writing showed improvement between the first and the second book! For the most part, with the one item noted above, I was able to focus on the story and the characters. I didn’t spend my time questioning the actions and behavior of Jim and those surrounding him. This story did have paranormal elements, but probably a little less so than the previous book. Overall, an enjoyable mystery with twists and turns!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.

Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company. 

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

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