Saturday, January 15, 2022

A New Year and a Book Review: Panic Attack

 Happy New Year one and all. I hope your holidays were warm and rewarding, despite the continuing challenge of Covid and its many variants. Perhaps this is the year it they will fizzle away and we can go back to normal living again. 

I mentioned before the close if the year I would have some good news to report. My second book in the Braga mystery series, Deadly Verse, will be published later this spring. I'll post more about it, closer to the date, but suffice it to say it takes place during "Braga Romana," the local festival in late May that celebrates Braga's Roman history. People dress up like Romans and all sorts of performances take place both on stages and plazas in various locations, as well as on  the street. Here are a couple of teasers:


                           
             


It's hard to believe we are already in mid-January! My husband and I enjoyed the holidays with very close friends here in Portugal - our first Christmas in Portugal, following our first anniversary in Portugal, following both our first birthdays in Portugal. (So 2021 was a year of "firsts" for us.)

Being book nerds, we spent a lot of the holiday period, except for our long daily walks, curled up with books. And since we read so many books, for awhile I'll be devoting both blogs ot some reviews. On my Victorian Scribbles blog, I'll be sticking mainly to the Victorian Era. On this one I'll review other assortments of good reads. Since I write mysteries when I'm not writing poetry or children's books, you can guess quite a number of these reads are mysteries.

So the first review I'd like to share is Dennis Palumbo's Panic Attack, a thriller that kept moving without let up until the very end. The plot that finally unravels is chilling in its implications and felt all too possible:

This is the 6th in a series that 
stars Daniel Rinaldi, the 
psychologist consulted by the
Pittsburgh police for victims of
traumatic or violent crimes. 

          The murder of a college mascot at a football game is the first in a series of what appear to be random killings. The intended victim’s panic attack is soon echoed by citywide panic as the killings continue. In the unfolding plot, a pattern emerges, suggesting the murders are not random at all. But what connects the dots? Despite a high body count, this is essentially a puzzle mystery with a myriad of twists and turns that kept me—and my husband—turning pages. 
          This was our first introduction to Daniel Rinaldi, the psychologist consulted by the Pittsburgh police to help victims of violent crimes cope with the aftermath of their experiences. Rinaldi becomes more than a consultant, however: His own inclination to find answers lead him to uncover a conspiracy chilling in its implications—and very relevant to today’s social upheaval. 

          It’s hard to get specific without giving the story away, but I found this a compelling read. The varied characters from different walks of life all seemed true to life. Descriptions of Pittsburgh were vivid and plunged a reader deeper into the story. The plot turns and the outcome were believable and suspenseful right up to the last. Not surprisingly, I’ll be shopping for more thrillers in this series.



If you are into mysteries and current events, I really recommend this book. Meanwhile, leave a line and tell me how your holidays went. Happy reading, and happy posting. 




 

24 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for this tempting review.
Our holiday period was quiet. Covid quiet. Which is fine.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your book release. We had a quiet holiday too. Awesome that your husband and you read so much.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Good afternoon, EC and Natalie; in an odd way, the pandemic has made for quieter and more relaxing times. It's probably the only positive thing that has come out of it - more "down time" and less rushing around. (Although nothing can make up for the lost lives and aftermath of the illness - one of our nephews and his wife are still suffering from inordinate fatigue.) Hopefully new vaccines can halt the spread of the latest variant.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Mirka Breen said...

Our holidays were MUCH quieter (i.e. uneventful) than yours. Lucky you to retain the concentration to read many books. These last two years have done a job on mine.

Weaver said...

Great review. And congrats on your upcoming release.

Vicki Lane said...

Congratulations and best wishes on the upcoming release. Sounds like a perfect setting for a mystery. And how cinematic all the Roman costumes would be!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Mirka, I'm so sorry to hear the past two years have messed with your concentration to the point that you can't read as much. If it weren't for reading, I'd be stir crazy, because my only other activity after taking walks is cleaning (and I can only do so much of that! lol).

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Donna. I'm glad you liked the review. (Reviewing is about the only writing I'm doing right now, since I finished the book.)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Good evening, Vicki, thanks for the congrats, and you are right: Braga and that particular fiesta make a good setting gor the story. It really is something to see everyone milling about in togas and stolas. (We've been to the festival twice.) BTW, I just finished reading your awesome book, And the Crows Took Their Eyes. I'll be reviewing it soon.

Susan Kane said...

Our holiday was with our family, quiet and non eventful.
Of our three adult children, one lives near us with 2 teen gr-daughters. our other two are in Chicago and Switzerland. Far away.

Rosi said...

When I read anything other than children's books, I read mysteries. This sounds like a good one. Maybe I will check it out. I just read one that I thought you would really like. Here is the link to my review. Let me know if you read it. I'd love to know your thoughts. https://seattlebookreview.com/product/down-a-dark-river-an-inspector-corravan-mystery/

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Good morning, Susan (here in Portugal), I sympathize with your being so far away from two of your children. Our family is scattered far and wide, too: India, the U.S., France, England, and we have good friends in Canada and Germany. We've solved some of this with Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp. The visits really are wonderful.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Rosi, I haven't read this book, but it sure sounds interesting from the review! I love the era, and I love mysteries that take place in London. I will keep this one in mind! Thanks for the recommendation.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

When I saw Panic Attack in the title, I got a bit worried. I thought YOU had experienced one. That book sounds interesting. I'll see if my library has it or some of his other books.

I look forward to learning more about YOUR latest book, too, dear Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Bom Dia, Elizabeth, and Meow to Bleubeard, I hope both of you are having a great day.

I never thought of what that post title could suggest! Portugal is so laid back and relaxed, I think it would be hard to have a panic attack here. The environment and culture are very low stress. Meanwhile, I am glad to have finished my latest book and now am in the process of gathering blurbs. I'm very pleased that four authors I like have agreed to give me a blurb.

Meanwhile, I love visiting your blog and seeing your creative art work.

Sandra Cox said...

So glad you are enjoying Portugal and that you found a great read.
Take special care.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Sandra. We really do like living in Portugal. And, still being careful about Covid, we are so glad there are good reads! We've always loved reading, but often didn't have time from our jobs. Now that we are retired and can't do a lot of traveling, curling up with a good book is such a treat.

Kate Larkindale said...

Sounds like the perfect holiday! And Braga looks like a beautiful and fascinating place to live.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kate. Yes, we love Braga, and when safe travels open up again we really recommend Braga as a place to visit. Portugal in general, actually, although we know Braga best.

Mark said...

The title threw me because I recently had my first panic attack ever. Not an experience I would recommend to anyone. But I guess all's well that ends well.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Oh, my goodness, Mark. I'm sorry you had to go through something like that. (The book does a good job of showing what it means to have one, how it feels, etc.) I hope all is going well, now. I finally sent my book off to the publisher and there's a tentative publishing date of "spring". They have a lot of projects going, so I'm not sure at what point in spring. I'm just happy it will be out there everntually. Meanwhile, thanks again for your help and valuable feedback.

Nancy Herman said...

your review is intriguing, Mitty. I just ordered the book!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I'm glad you liked the review, Nancy. Wow! Ordered the book, even? I think you will find it gripping.

Vicki Lane said...

A year already! So good to see that it's been a good one. Congratulations on the new book!