Spoiler Free Review – Deceptive Waters

Hey there friends! Today I’m going to be reviewing Deceptive Waters. This was an interesting ARC read that kept me hooked even though I didn’t really like the characters and the ending raised quite a few questions.

Book: Deceptive Waters

Author: Carolyn Courtney Lauman

Genre: Adult, Mystery

Summary: When Mary Branson witnesses a car hurtle off the Golden Gate Bridge in the fall of 1998, little does she realize that, twenty years later, she’ll find herself revisiting the haunting details of that crash. But when a woman’s body is found floating along the dark shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Mary tasks herself with unravelling the truth behind both deaths.

Not everyone wants Mary to uncover that truth, let alone publish a novel based on the secrets she exposes. With ominous forces working to silence her, Mary turns to her law enforcement husband and a street-savvy private investigator for help. Can she stay alive long enough to finish her story?

In Deceptive Waters, Carolyn Courtney Lauman introduces her readers to Mary Branson, the lead character in her mystery and suspense Deceptive series. Enjoy reading how Mary transitions from international business executive to writer of true-crime-turns-fiction. You won’t be disappointed.

Continue reading “Spoiler Free Review – Deceptive Waters”

The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden – Review

Welcome back friends! I hope you are having a great day! Today, I’m going to be reviewing The Victim of the System by Steve Hadden. This was an okay thriller, but I didn’t really like the characters, and I found some the twists unbelievable. I was given a free copy of this book by Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Book: The Victim of the System

Author: Steve Hadden

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: Twenty-two years ago, Ike Rossi’s life was shattered when his parents were murdered. He surrendered his football scholarship and returned home to find their killer and raise his sister. Now, the crime of a local ten-year-old genius, Jack Cole, threatens to unearth old wounds.

When Ike meets Jack inside the Pittsburgh courthouse, he doesn’t see a murderer but instead a boy who’s been victimized by a system that’s left them both without justice. Despite knowing the case will resurrect the painful demons of his parents’ unsolved murders, Ike agrees to clear Jack’s name. The court of public opinion and the district attorney have an airtight case. Worse, taking Jack’s side thrusts Ike into the crosshairs of the most powerful family in Pittsburgh, the Falzones.

Now, with only days before the trial, Ike confronts the Falzones’ crumbling empire to find the shocking evidence that could save Jack. At the same time, he races to decipher a series of cryptic clues from Jack’s dead father that could hold the key to his son’s freedom. But each step closer to the truth draws them further into danger, and as three fractured families collide, Ike is forced to choose between saving Jack—and saving himself.

This was a disappointing book. I liked the thriller aspect and the mystery of what Nick Falzone was trying to hide, and how the pacing picked up towards the end. However, I felt that some of the characters were unrealistic, the really minor romance aspect was predictable, and some of the twists at the end were really unbelievable.

Ike Rossi is a former, yet still famous, quarterback who is currently a private investigator. He also has a secret career as a formidable boxer. I was a bit skeptical of Ike and never really warmed to him. I liked his sister and Mac a little bit, but as the story continued, they became less involved in the story. I felt like the fact that Ike is famous, and apparently one of the best PIs (so much so that he frightens the Falzones), and also a tough unbeatable boxer was unnecessary. It seemed kind of convenient for him to be this super hero guy who never backs down and always does what is right. When he meets Jack, he has an internal battle because he wants to help him, but already has a prior contract. But he ends up doing the right and honorable thing and helps Jack out.

Jack was okay, I didn’t really care about him, and I was a little annoyed by the fact that he is “special” and very smart. His aunt, Lauren, really annoyed me. She is demanding, rude, and I absolutely loathed her when she yelled at Ike for refusing to take the job, and when he left later on. She had no right to do so, especially when he had a prior commitment, and it annoyed me that her self-centered (or well, it’s more for Jack) attitude, and little speech about “real commitment” was one of the reasons why Ike took the case. I really hated her character. The tiny romance aspect between Ike and Lauren did not help matters at all. It could have been eliminated, and the story would have been fine.

The Falzones were interesting, and I kind of liked Shannon. The dynamics between the two halves of the family and the increasing tension added to the suspense and intrigue.

The ending was okay, however, some of the twists thrown in did not make sense at all and they weren’t fully explained. The ending was going really great until those twists happened.

In the end, this was a meh thriller with disappointing characters, and some unbelievable twists.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

You can read a much more positive review here before deciding! Have you read The Victim of the System? What did you think? What was the last thriller that you read? Chat with me in the comments below!

The Bridge of Little Jeremy by Indrajit Garai – Review

Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of The Bridge of Little Jeremy by Indrajit Garai. This book started out great, but by the time I was halfway through, I was bored and didn’t really care anymore. However, the main character’s resolve to help and protect his mother salvaged the story for me.

Book: The Bridge of Little Jeremy

Author: Indrajit Garai

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary: Jeremy’s mother is about to go to prison for their debt to the State. He is trying everything within his means to save her, but his options are running out fast. 

Then Jeremy discovers a treasure under Paris. 

This discovery may save his mother, but it doesn’t come for free. And he has to ride over several obstacles for his plan to work. 

Meanwhile, something else is limiting his time…


Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


*Jeremy. I really liked Jeremy’s resolve to do everything that he could to help and protect his mother and his friends. His character had faults and he wasn’t perfect. He grew with the story and he was really mature. He loved art, and was really passionate about his paintings, which I loved since I like to paint sometimes as well.

*Description. I liked the description of Paris. It was beautiful and made me feel more in the story. The way it looked in the different seasons, the history, it was just really nice.

*Plot. The plot was okay. I liked the idea, but the execution was meh. The story was a bit too long, and I was bored through-out most of it. However, it touched on a lot of different important topics, like the harms and benefits of social media, inheritance tax, and also explored Jeremy’s relationship with his single mother who is mostly absent through-out the story.


*Slow and Boring. I think the story could have been reduced by maybe a 100 pages. It was too long, and I was bored through most of it because nothing really happened except until the very end. It was also very boring being in Jeremy’s head all the time, because he was always thinking the same thing over and over. By the end of the story, I just didn’t really care anymore.


This was okay. I didn’t love it, I don’t think I’d recommend it, but here’s a positive review to help you decide! The story has a positive message, and the plot was interesting, but the execution could have been better. (Brendon’s Positive Review)

One sentence summary: An okay contemporary novel with a passionate main character.

Overall, 2.5 stars rounded down to 2

★★☆☆☆


Indrajit Garai, an American citizen now, was born in India in 1965. After his Bachelors degree from Indian Institute of Technology and Masters from Harvard, he worked as a corporate strategy consultant and as an investment banker in America, Spain, and England, while studying parallelly Ayurveda (ancient medicine of India) for stress management. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, he moved to Paris, opened his private practice of stress management, and then authored six books in this field (five in French and one in English).

Authoring these books on stress management gave him a deep love for writing. Since 2015, he has devoted himself full-time to creating literature.

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