Vendetta by Lisa Harris

VendettaNo one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

I liked this book, but it didn’t grab me as other suspense/mystery books do. I think part of that was because this book only had one point-of-view character, Nikki. I get more into books when I can get the point of view of multiple characters and when I can get a glimpse into the antagonist’s head/life. For me, it adds to the suspense because I know things the protagonist doesn’t, whether I get to know the antagonist’s identity before the protagonist or not.

One thing that frustrated me in the book was Nikki and Tyler’s relationship. It was obvious to me that they were more than friends with how they acted towards each other, but there was no mention of even the possibility of them being more than friends until about half way through. On her site, Lisa Harris has the book included in the contemporary romance genre. The book had a hint of romance in it, but not enough for me to consider it a contemporary romance novel.

The ending was somewhat open-ended, which can kind of be expected when it’s the first book in a series where the main character is the main character throughout the whole series. Some things are wrapped up, but a few others, specifically relating to Nikki, are left open to continue in the next book.

This book was okay as a suspense/mystery novel, but I had enough issues with the book that I’m not sure if I’ll read the next book in the series.


Standing on My Brother’s Shoulders – Tara Lal

Standing on my Brother's Shoulders

Tara’s childhood was scarred by the debilitating mental illness of her father and by her mother’s death from cancer when she was thirteen. Caught up in grief and despair, Tara and her older brother Adam developed a deep, caring bond, but Adam struggled silently with growing anxiety and depression. Four years after their mother’s death, he committed suicide, throwing himself from his study window at Oxford University. Grief and insecurity threatened to engulf Tara, but eventually she found, within her brother’s diaries, her reason to live. The story moves from London to Sydney as Tara rebuilds her life, firstly as a physiotherapist and then a firefighter. Through her search for understanding and a powerful dialogue with her brother, she eventually gains freedom from the past and a life of meaning. Trained in suicide prevention, the author hopes that sharing her story will allow the reader to identify risk factors for mental illness, as well as strategies that reduce the effect of trauma and loss. She also seeks to give examples of techniques to improve resilience, and show how we can aid post-traumatic growth and improve happiness levels through positive psychology. – From Publisher’s website

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It took me a while to get into this memoir because the first several chapters were background information which I didn’t find all that interesting. The memoir did hold my attention enough for me to stick through the background chapters to get to the part where it deals with Tara’s brother’s depression and suicide. Before reading this book, I thought it was going to focus more on mental health than it actually did, but it was still interesting to see how Tara responded to her father’s illness, her brother’s suicide, and her own struggles. There was some swearing in the book, but it wasn’t excessive. I lost one of my brothers unexpectedly last year and so when Tara talked about losing her brother, I could feel along, and at times I teared up because it reminded me of my loss. Overall, I think this could be an interesting read for those who like memoirs.