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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blood of Like Souls - a review

Life’s secrets have a way of surfacing at the most inopportune time. Julie Madigan’s past comes to the fore when she is the victim of a bomb explosion while on the site of a murder investigation. Madigan, a medical examiner in Michigan was running from her past as officer with the New Mexico State Police and from her abusive husband who she killed in self-defense. Her past was revealed during her hospitalization when she had to explain the scars on her body, identifying the reason her neck had a jagged knife wound from ear to trachea.

While her friends and new employer struggled to grasp the significance of the subterfuge, a murderer was sending messages to Madigan, making a game out of her inability to solve the next death even with hints as to how it would happen. This mysterious game-playing killer knew more than anyone else about her past, the how and why are what is so cleverly bought to light until the skillful penmanship of debut author Val Conrad. Struggling to maintain her relationships and her life Madigan is forced to endure more than anyone should have to in order to eventually expose her private monster.

Conrad’s expertise in the field she writes about is obvious and her familiarity with the geographical areas she takes us to give this novel the finite touches to make the subject as real as possible. This was a page turner that had me on the edge of my seat.

Karma by Nancy Deville

While attending a medical seminar in Istanbul, Meredith Fitzgerald, an engaged, beautiful, blonde, young lady is duped by her taxi driver in the old, city bazaars. Intent on spending one last day exploring Istanbul before leaving for India, to sprinkle her father's ashes in the Ganges, she allows her guard down in the market environment. Instead of engaging in a tourist-style adventure she finds her tea laced with choral hydrate. Having been slipped a Mickey she slips into unconsciousness. When she awakens she finds herself naked, imprisoned in a dark room and realizes she has been raped.

Her feats mount as she realizes she has been taken prisoner by a sex-trade trafficker who, along with his American companion and bodyguards, conspire to move her to Mumbai, India. Fitzgerald gives up hope of being found, knowing her fiancé, Paul, will be searching in Turkey, not across the border in India, for her.

By making herself personal physician to Mrs. Pawar, Fitzgerald tries to curry favor and to place her in a situation where she can escape, not just from the ritual daily raping from her immediate kidnapper, but from under the noses of her Indian task-masters.

An on-the edge-of-your-seat, unforgettable adventure that takes us to the edge of madness and back and shows that with perseverance, and a never-say-die attitude, even the most evil circumstances can be triumphed over.

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