Tag Archives: historical

in light of death title

Book Review: In Light Of Death, by D.W. Rigsby

I somehow came into possession of a copy of D.W. Rigsby‘s In Light Of Death in October of 2020 (that’s when it was uploaded to Caliber), most likely through a Bookfunnel promotion (or something similar). But I wouldn’t swear to that, just that I came by it legitimately.
in light of deathSome say the dead don’t talk, but I know better.

My name is Lucius Samuel Stockhelm. I’m an inspectre, a paranormal detective with a ghost sidekick. I work out of my home in New Cross, Ohio. As far as I know, I’m the only non-professional inspectre conducting supernatural investigations. You can find me in the Harken, just ask Toledo the barkeep. Believe it or not, I’m not even sure why I’m doing this kind of work.

Though I have learned a cross is a powerful weapon but anointing oneself while confronting a demon isn’t that easy. Oh, and let’s not forget holy water and salt; the two most used items in my arsenal against the demonic. Yes – these are the tools I’ve been given to defeat the occult.

With being fired from the post office and a decent night’s rest becoming an issue of some importance, I need work, and soon. A distraught call to my neighbor, a professional inspectre, starts this line of dominoes, making me believe things are looking up, but they are about to go from worse to terrible. Someone is leveraging dark supernatural forces to commit a series of horrific murders. Tracking a multi-killer takes me into the dangerous underbelly of New Cross, from shady characters to demons, while I try and defend myself with archaic tools against the unholy of unholys.

In this supernatural mystery series, you’ll find more than ghosts and demons. There’s an array of interesting characters with deceitful behaviors, a plethora of occult activities, with a historical backdrop to boot. Come along and have a look – it’s just what you need to brighten your evening. Turn on your gaslamp, but make sure it’s low so you don’t spook the visitors. Now it’s time to take a peek behind the cover and see what’s on the other side of the mirror.

my review

I have a major gripe and it’s one I’ve ranted on before, because it really does irritate the life out of me. It is my very strong opinion that if I pick up a book that is labeled as book 1, I should be able to read it without confusion. If there is a book before it, even a short one, that needs to be read for it to make sense, then it isn’t book 1, it’s book 2. That prequel (or whatever) is book 1. A book labeled as book 1 is where a reader should be able to pick up without trouble. Can there be prequels? Sure, but they can’t be integral to understanding the events of book 1 and not be counted as such.

I say all that because it’s pertinent to In Light Of Death. I had no idea what was going on for well over half the book. There must have been a lot happen in that 116 page prequel that I didn’t know existed when I picked up book 1. The reader is dropped into In Light of Death, lost and confused. And honestly, even once I piece together what was happening, it still felt like cheese clothe. I felt like my grip on understanding was always tenuous and Rigsby made no effort to firm anything up.

Which is such a shame. Because, there toward the end, I actually came to like Stockhelm and Alarbus. I might have been interested in reading more of their adventures. But as it is, I will not be continuing the series. I just spent too much time uncertain of what was happening and trying to follow characters’ leaps of logic, because (I as a reader) wasn’t given enough information.

Review of Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures #1), by K.J. Charles

I received an ARC of K.J. CharlesSlippery Creatures from the author. I don’t accept a lot of books for review anymore. I simply have too many already. But Charles is one of my favorite authors, so of course, I sought this one out. But with all the shuffling of books and such between the old computer and the new, this almost got lost. That would have been a shame and embarrassing.

Description from Goodreads:

Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.

Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.

Review:

I generally really enjoyed this. I adored Will and Kim, though I don’t felt I knew Kim as well as Will since he wasn’t a POV character. I wondered how the situation would be resolved until the end. The writing was marvelous as always and I look forward to more.

I only have one BIG complaint that keeps this from being rated higher for me. (Sorry this will be vague to avoid too many spoilers.) The synopsis refers to betrayal and I don’t think many will be surprised by it. But afterward, there came a point that Will made a decision I couldn’t accept. It’s not that I didn’t see how he might do it, certainly, Charles painted him into a corner and I could imagine a man doing what he did. But as a reader, I was still angry and didn’t want him to. What’s more, given his and Kim’s last conversation, I wouldn’t have expected a warm human welcome, but a professional one. So, the decision Will made and the action he took (while instrumental to move the plot along) didn’t feel right to me.

All in all, however, I loved this.

Review of Trial by Desire, by Courtney Milan

I won a copy of Courtney Milan‘s Trial by Desire through Goodreads.

Description:
SHE CANNOT FORGET THE FIRE HE IGNITED …

In the three years since her husband left her, Lady Kate Carhart has managed to forge a fulfilling life for herself. But when Ned Carhart unexpectedly returns, she finds her tranquility uprooted — and her deepest secrets threatened. Though she has no intention of falling for Ned’s charms, Kate can no longer deny the desire that still burns in her heart.

OR THE PROMISE OF HIS LOVE …

Ned is determined to regain his wife’s trust by using unbridled seduction. But just as Kate surrenders to Ned’s passion, her carefully guarded past threatens to destroy her. Now Kate must place her faith in the only man she’s ever loved, and the only one who has ever betrayed her …

Review:
OK, I won’t say this is a bad book. I know Milan is quite popular. I’ve even read and enjoyed some of her books. But the simple fact of the matter is that I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. That’s the truth of it.

I found Ned horribly selfish, from start to finish. Yes, I understood that he was young and fighting demons, that he regretted having left and was trying to make amends. My problem was that he returned just as selfish as he left. I didn’t find his fear a good enough excuse for the fact that he allowed his own wants to overshadow Kate’s openly expressed desires, over and over again, hurting her repeatedly.

Further, I didn’t understand why she continued to trust and love him. And that after the simple fact that after a 3 year absence (in a three month marriage), I wouldn’t have been inclined to forgive him in the first place, let alone over and over again.

Then, there was the domestic violence aspect. Milan spouts all the right words about it not being a woman’s fault, etc. But then she sculpted a heroine who laughed in the face of an abusive man. Yes, he was going to hurt her regardless, so why give him her fear. But it totally glossed over the fact that he very well could have killed her and purposefully antagonizing him isn’t admirable. Placation isn’t weakness if it keeps you alive. And of course the abused woman eventually stands tall and confronts her abuser. While I understand how this was supposed to be a triumph, if you really look at the inverse of it, regardless of what Milan espoused in the narrative, it all suggests that women who don’t laugh in the face of their abuser or stand tall because they’re so strong must in fact be weak. I was offended by the whole storyline.