Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour: Life in Death by Harlow Coban Book Review

Life in Death (Kari Marchant Series, Book 1)
by Harlow Coban
Publisher: Wine Not Publishing
Length: 25,000 words
Sub-Genre: Mystery/Thriller

When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die. How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?

When homicide detective Rance Nicolet meets Kari, his attraction to her is powerful—and the feeling is mutual. But things between them go terribly wrong when Kari’s old lover is found murdered with a letter from her in his pocket. The evidence against Kari is damning. Rance’s personal and professional lives collide. Does he blindly believe the woman he’s falling in love with or follow the evidence no matter where it leads?

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"Where is she?" Luke Dolo, Patience’s father, pounded a fist on the table. His face had contorted into an ugly mask. His smooth, dark skin had a reddish tinge to it, either from alcohol, anger or both. 

For the first time ever, Kari thought about alerting security. She weighed her options. 

“Mr. Dolo, please calm down. As I said before, you need to speak to the police.” She slid Detective Nicolet’s card over to him. 

He stared at it, eyes dull.

“Just tell me what happened to her?” The veins in his neck bulged and pulsed. 

She didn’t respond. She couldn’t respond. It wasn’t her place to tell him his daughter was dead.

He leaped across the table, hands closing around Kari’s throat like a vise. She struggled against his strength and they tumbled to the ground. He landed on top of her. The weight of his body coupled with the fall knocked the breath out of her, but she continued to struggle. She scratched and clawed at him to get free. His fetid breath nauseated her as she fought to take a gulp of air. Soon dots danced in front of her eyes and she felt dizzy.

Detective Cobb had Luke on his stomach with his knee pressed into his back as he handcuffed him. “Looks like I showed up just in time.”

Life in DeathLife in Death by Harlow Coban
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mystery, romance, brutal murders, and a confusing ending.  This is the best way to describe this book, and this will be one of the more challenging reviews for me to write.  This is also a rather short book, but I have to say that it is anything but an easy read.

For the first few chapters of the book, I was really mesmerized.  The author had me right there.  Although the murder described was quite horrid and brutal, I was somewhat intrigued.  I am sure that the kind of "murder ring" described in the book that find its inspiration from Eastern practices is something that occurs without anyone's knowledge.  I was sickened to read about the rituals described, but I also wanted to see the perpetrators come to justice.

Unfortunately, the book began to get very confusing as it continued.  I was able to figure some of the characters out and how they figured into the story, but there were definitely some holes that just did not make sense.  I so hoped that everything would get worked out and explained by the end, but it really was not.  And I was highly offended by the epilogue.  As far as I am concerned, murder is murder--no matter if it justified or not.  It is one thing if you kill in self-defense or accidentally.  But pre-meditated murder is something that should never go unpunished.

I was offended by the flagrant use of profanity.  While I do not like profanity, when it is used and if makes sense, I can excuse it.  Not so, here.  And the sex scene did not even seem to make sense.

You might wonder why I gave it a 3-star rating if there were so many thing I did not like.  Well, I would say that the author does have a talent, and the premise behind the book is somewhat intriguing.  I also think that some people may find the book really interesting.  Perhaps if the book had been longer, it may have even been better.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


Author Harlow Coban was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Denver, CO. She relocated to North Carolina five years ago with her husband, two dogs, and 16-year old twins.

She shares a birthday with the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. In keeping with his legacy, she is currently working on taking over the world. Harlow’s positive attitude and fresh take on life are her tools and conquest is certain.

She spends her free time writing, dancing, traveling and defending mailboxes from her 16-year-old twins’ driving.

Her debut novel, LIFE IN DEATH (February 2012), is a murder mystery which pulls from real-life situations from her own family history. She felt compelled to share her story with the world while offering a thrilling, entertaining, and amusing escape for readers.

In keeping with her commitment to improving the lives of children, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club in her home state of North Carolina.

Twitter: @HarlowCoban

Click here to follow the rest of the blog tour.

1 comment:

  1. Ruth...Fair reviews are appreciated. This is Ms. Coban's debut novel. Certainly she will benefit from honest feedback from readers.


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