Tag Archives: Creston Mapes

Top 10 Tuesday — Firsts

24 Aug

Happy Tuesday! Again I am diverging from the Top 10 Tuesday prompt (I feel like I have done that topic a number of times) and going with great first books in mystery/suspense series. I’ve chosen a lot of great older books, so check out those backlists and get reading! 😉

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top First Books of Great Mystery/Suspense Series

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand

Det. Roland March is a homicide cop on his way out. But when he’s the only one at a crime scene to find evidence of a missing female victim, he’s given one last chance to prove himself. Before he can crack the case, he’s transferred to a new one that has grabbed the spotlightthe disappearance of a famous Houston evangelist’s teen daughter. With the help of a youth pastor with a guilty conscience who navigates the world of church and faith, March is determined to find the missing girls while proving he’s still one of Houston’s best detectives.

Brink of Death by Brandilyn Collins

The noises, faint, fleeting, whispered into her consciousness like wraiths passing in the night. Twelve-year-old Erin Willit opened her eyes to darkness lit only by the dim green nightlight near her closet door and the faint glow of a street lamp through her front window. She felt her forehead wrinkle, the fingers of one hand curl as she tried to discern what had awakened her. Something was not right . . . Annie Kingston moves to Grove Landing for safety and quiet—and comes face to face with evil. When neighbor Lisa Willet is killed by an intruder in her home, Sheriff’s detectives are left with little evidence. Lisa’s daughter, Erin, saw the killer, but she’s too traumatized to give a description. The detectives grow desperate. Because of her background in art, Annie is asked to question Erin and draw a composite. But Annie knows little about forensic art or the sensitive interview process. A nonbeliever, she finds herself begging God for help. What if her lack of experience leads Erin astray? The detectives could end up searching for a face that doesn’t exist. Leaving the real killer free to stalk the neighborhood . . .

Cuts Like A Knife by M. K. Gilroy

Chicago has new resident, a heartless killer with a long and bloody history. When a successful young woman is found dead in her fashionable town home, a red flag lights up FBI computers in Washington, D.C. The Feds know an elusive “organized killer” is at work again. The problem is they have only one tenuous lead to assist the Chicago Police Department in the manhunt … a most unlikely place the killer hunts for his victims. Detective Kristen Conner is light as a feather but punches hard as a heavyweight. A cop’s kid, her life is built on faith, family, and catching criminals. She coaches her niece’s soccer team, the Snowflakes, when she isn’t fighting with her CPD partner or glamorous TV news reporter sister—or going undercover to find the man who is terrorizing the women of her city. She’s a good cop but she’s never faced an adversary like this. From an opening chase that leads Kristen to a back alley where a punk with a knife awaits her, to the climactic and head-spinning ending where she goes one-on-one with the hauntingly familiar man who is killing innocent women in her city, Cuts Like a Knife, is loaded with action, suspense, and humor through the voice of its irrepressible lead character.

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

She’s dedicated her life to ending violence. But has she moved too deep into a treacherous world?

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common — a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities–and their hearts.

Dangerous Passage exposes a fully realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. You’ll be hooked from the start.

Deeper Water by Robert Whitlow

In the murky waters of Savannah’s shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she’s defending–and the senior partners of the firm. 

How deep will the conspiracy run? Will she have to abandon her true self to fulfill a higher calling? And how far will she have to go to discover the truth behind a tragic cold case?

Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

A Haunting Name From the Past . . .

Granger Meade was mentally scarred as a boy by his religious zealot parents. He was bullied at school for his quiet, oafish appearance, which naturally made him a loner and outcast.

But one girl treated him differently—Pamela Wagner. Pam talked to Granger, took an interest, listened, made him feel like a human being. She cared when no one else did, and Granger loved her for it; and still does 20 years later.

So Granger goes back to their Ohio town. Back to Pamela. But she is happily married to reporter Jack Crittendon, who’s embroiled in a time-sensitive story about a pastor who’s disappeared and left a suicide note; a case swirling with suspicion and talk of scandal.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions. 

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder. 

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention. 

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir

Eleven months ago, Ray Quinn was a tough, quick-witted Orlando homicide detective at the top of his game — until a barrage of bullets ended his career…and his partner’ s life.

Now medically retired with a painful handicap, Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner’s death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, Ray takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The pastor’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case–to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name. 

Ray reluctantly pulls the threads of this supposedly dead-end case only to unravel a murder investigation so deep that it threatens to turn the Orlando political landscape upside down and transform old friends into new enemies. As Ray chases down leads and interrogates suspects, someone is watching his every move, someone determined to keep him from ever finding out the truth — at any cost.

A Shred of Evidence by Kathy Herman

The first book in the Seaport Suspense series

Ellen Jones, first introduced in the Baxter series, is enjoying a leisurely lunch at a Seaport restaurant when she overhears a private conversation at the table next to her — and disturbing accusations involving the husband of a woman she has recently befriended. But as Ellen digs through old newspaper articles and stumbles onto information too frightening to keep to herself, will she become enmeshed in speculation and gossip — or will she take the lead and become a catalyst for truth and healing?

Sober Justice by Mark Hilley

Life in the low country of the Gulf Coast can get pretty steamy. But life just got a lot hotter for Mike Connolly, a divorced, alcoholic, 50 something attorney. Usually content when he just makes it through another day, Mike’s life takes a dangerous and unpredictable turn when a judge appoints him to defend an indigent man accused of murdering a prominent plaintiff’s attorney. Just when he thinks that things can’t get worse, Mike stumbles onto a conspiracy and finds himself in the midst of a complicated web of intrigue that will take a miracle to survive. Trouble is–Mike’s fresh out of miracles. Or is he?

Widows And Orphans by Susan Meissner

When her ultra-ministry-minded brother, Joshua, confesses to murder, lawyer Rachael Flynn begs him to let her represent him, certain that he is innocent. But Joshua refuses her offer of counsel. 

As Rachael works on the case, she begins to suspect that Josh knows who the real killer is, but she is unable to get him to cooperate with his defense.  Why won’t he talk to her? What is Josh hiding? 

The answer is revealed in a stunning conclusion that will have readers eager for the second book in this gripping new series.

Top 10 Tuesday — Kindle Deals

7 Apr

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt is Books I Bought Because . . . . Books come into my house in a variety of ways — shopping bags from local bookstores, Amazon delivery, NetGalley, and book mail from publishers and PR groups. Yes I am at risk of a book landslide, but I still request and buy. Because of this I look for deals as well. That’s where my Kindle comes into play. Ebooks come on sale (or for FREE) for a number of reasons, and I am quick to jump on them. It may be a favorite author’s book that I have missed, or an author I have wanted to try, or it might be a book club selection that is currently on sale. That’s why my Amazon cloud is full too. 😉 Below are the last 10 books that came into my house because of deals on Kindle ebooks. Since I am an eclectic reader they represent a number of genres.

Do you search for book deals?

To find out why other bloggers beg, borrow, and steal buy books, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

The Last 10 Book Deals for My Kindle

Carry Me Home by Dorothy Adamek

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon

Irish Encounter by Hope Dougherty

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

Nobody by Creston Makes

A Scarlet Cord by Deborah Raney

A Search for Refuge by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Wind Will Howl by Sibella Giorello

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

 

If You Liked Mind Games . . .

31 May

My book club discussed Mind Games by Nancy Mehl this month. We really liked this unique book — a profiler who is the daughter of a serial killer who has to track down a serial killer! We had all kinds of questions about the character and are definitely looking forward to getting to know her better in book 2, Fire Storm, due out in August.

In the meantime, I have a few recommendations for unique Christian suspense. They are a bit creepy, if you like that sort of thing! 😉 Hope you enjoy!

Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his family, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are–if he is to protect the ones he loves. It will lead Crittendon into a world of behind-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his investigation of a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears.

Each move Crittendon makes weaves him tighter and tighter into a web of lies, greed, hypocrisy, sin, and danger. He believed he’d never give in to fear. But that was before. And holding on to his faith won’t be easy. Nor will keeping his family safe, and ending the terror. Because that might require him to step over lines he never dared to cross.

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

An inseparable bond.
An insatiable force.

Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers — and his fragile sobriety.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret.

Placebo by Steven James

While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons’ tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did. 

Rooted in ground-breaking science and inspired by actual research, Placebo explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. 

Proof by Jordyn Redwood (This is book 1 of the outstanding Bloodline Trilogy)

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it’s the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find–and punish–her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

Top 10 Tuesday — In a reading slump? Read these books now!

21 Aug

Reading slumps, ugh. When you want to read, but you just can’t seem to get into the books you pull from your shelves. What to do? Read the books on my list! I recommend all these books, they are quick to capture the attention and keep it. I’ve divided them into categories (2 per genre) so that you can find exactly the book you want to read.

Want other book recs? Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl for more.

 

Top Books to Beat A Slump

 

Historical (with some romance)

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

 

Mystery

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

 

Romance

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

 

Romantic Suspense

Vanished by Irene Hannon

Vendetta by Lisa Harris

 

Small Town Contemporary Series (with romance)

Hope Harbor series by Irene Hannon

A Place to Call Home series by Cathleen Armstrong

 

Suspense

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

 

Top Ten Tuesday — Suspense-Filled Audiobooks

20 Sep

This week the folks at The Broke And Bookish are talking all things Audio! I featured some of my favorite audiobooks in June for a Freebie Week. So today I will concentrate on my favorite genre — suspense. To find out what other bloggers are listening to, click HERE.

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I started listening to audiobooks several years ago as I traveled twice a week to see my daughter’s college soccer games. Even home games were a 3 1/2 hour drive for me. Suspense novels helped to make the miles and hours go by more quickly, not least of all keeping me awake! Now that she’s graduated, I listen to audiobooks on my daily walks. It’s a great way to make me look forward to exercise! Here are 10 of my favorites.

Top 10 Favorite Suspense-Filled Audiobooks

 

Dubiosity by Christy Barritt

Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins

Trapped by Irene Hannon

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Vanished by Irene Hannon

The Real Enemy by Kathy Herman

Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

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Double Cross by DiAnn Mills

The Survivor by DiAnn Mills

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl

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What have you been listening to?

 

Top Ten Tuesday! — Audiobooks

28 Jun

It’s Freebie Day at Top Ten Tuesday! Thanks to the gals at The Broke And The Bookish who host every week. To find out what other bloggers are sharing today, click HERE.

toptentuesday

 

I love audiobooks! I started listening about 6 years ago when I traveled 4+ hours to my daughter’s college soccer games. They filled the tedious hours of driving alone. I got my husband hooked on audiobooks when we would go on road trips for football games. With Summer in full swing now, I thought it would be good to share my favorites. Audiobooks are perfect for car or plane trips or when you just want to relax and have someone read to you. 🙂 I also listen while exercising and doing chores, basically anytime when it is too cumbersome to hold a book! I went a bit over the top with my list — 20+ books! But I really liked them and just had to share.

 

TOP 10 20+ FAVORITE AUDIOBOOKS

While it is important to have a good story, a good reader/narrator is also important for a quality audiobook — timing and voices/accents are key. My husband and I got hooked on Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries. But just any old narrator will not do; we have to have Hugh Fraser! Lucky for us, a ton of Poirot audiobooks featuring Fraser are available. He does an excellent job in making Poirot come to life. Here are a few of our favorites.

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The Christie audiobooks run about 6+ hours, making them a perfect choice for listening with others.

Along with the Christie mysteries, I have listened to some other excellent books. They vary in length, but have a two things in common: excellent stories and excellent narrators. The following have something for everyone — suspense, mystery, history. There is even a classic! Check them out!

The Advocate by Randy Singer, narrated by David Cochran Heath

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, narrated by Zach Appleman

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill, narrated by Lisa Larsen

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks, narrated by Teri Clark Linden

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The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey, narrated by Gabe Wicks

Cuts Like A Knife by M.K. Gilroy, narrated by Coleen Marlo

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer, narrated by Joey Collins

Dubiosity by Christy Barritt, narrated by Joyce Bean

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Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes, narrated by Paul Michael

Longbourn by Jo Baker, narrated by Emma Fielding

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, narrated by Jessica Almasy/Suzanne Toren

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

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The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta, narrated by Amanda McKnight

The Racketeer by John Grisham, narrated by J.D. Jackson

Sycamore Row by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, narrated by Sissy Spacek

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki, narrated by Madeleine Maby

Vanished by Irene Hannon, narrated by Celeste Ciulla

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin, narrated by Kevin Stilwell

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What about you?

Do you listen to audiobooks?

 

Audiobook Review: Fear Has A Name

5 Nov

408165How Far Would He Go To Keep Them Safe?

It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his family, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are–if he is to protect the ones he loves. It will lead Crittendon into a world of behind-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his investigation of a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears.

Each move Crittendon makes weaves him tighter and tighter into a web of lies, greed, hypocrisy, sin, and danger. He believed he’d never give in to fear. But that was before. And holding on to his faith won’t be easy. Nor will keeping his family safe, and ending the terror. Because that might require him to step over lines he never dared to cross.

 

3f6bd214197194c66050fb85640763e6Creston Mapes is the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling Christian fiction mystery, Nobody, along with the bestselling Christian fiction thrillers Sky Zone, Poison Town, Fear Has a Name, Dark Star and Full Tilt. His early years as a reporter inspire many of his novels.

A journalist, copywriter, and editor, Creston works from his home-office in Atlanta for some of the nation’s top media companies, Christian ministries, and nationally-recognized corporations, including Chick-fil-A, Coke, ABC-TV, and The Weather Channel. In addition to Creston’s novels and freelance writing, he has ghostwritten and edited seven non-fiction titles.

Creston is married to his hometown sweetheart, Patty. They have a close-knit family, with four great children, several pets, and a growing number of cars.

 

My Impressions:

If you are looking for a psychological thriller that will keep you turning the pages while holding your breath, then pick up a copy of Creston Mapes’ novel, Fear Has A Name, book one in The Crittendon Files series. I listened to the audio version and had a hard time turning it off. In fact I found lots of excuses to extend my listening time. Tightly written, this book will appeal to those who like Steven James.

The action starts from the very beginning. The Crittendon family is subjected to a home invasion. And that’s just the start of the nightmare that includes stalking and kidnapping. A seemingly unrelated story line of a missing pastor is the focus of Jack Crittendon’s newspaper investigation. But the two stories come together in an unusual way that demonstrates God’s plan and sovereignty.

Fear Has A Name is an action packed novel, with some very well-developed characters. They struggle with real life problems — depression, doubt and insecurity. When faced with extreme stress, they react in credible ways. The bad guy, Grainger Meade, is especially compelling. The product of twisted religion and abuse, he is at once despicable and sympathetic. The plot is multi-layered, and I wondered just where the author was going with the story lines. But Mapes brings all things together to show just how God works behind the scenes, though we can trace His hand if we look close enough. The audiobook reader did a good job of providing the many voices of the characters with their turmoil and torment.

I highly recommend Fear Has A Name for anyone looking for a taut thriller, and I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook version of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.