ARC Review: The Poet by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: The Poet
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Entangled Publishing 3/9/21
Length:  368 Pages


“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.” -Jean Cocteau 

Some call him friend or boss. 
Some call him husband or dad. 
Some call him son, even a favorite son. 

But the only title that matters to him is the one the media has given him: The Poet. 

A name he earned from the written words he leaves behind after he kills that are as dark and mysterious as the reason he chooses his victims. 

One word, two, three, a story in a poem, a secret that only Detective Samantha Jazz can solve. Because he’s writing this story for her. 

She just doesn’t know it yet.

My Thoughts

First off, I need to thank Netgalley for getting me a copy of this book soo soo early. I’m going to start off by saying that I had no idea that one of my favorite ‘Romance’ writers also wrote in other genres. Perhaps I should have dug into her more, but Lisa Renee Jones has managed to keep me so entertained over the years that I felt no need until I ran out of series to follow.

Anyhow, we have a thriller on our hands here, The Poet is a murder / serial killer mystery that takes so many different twists and turns. We start off years in the past at what likely is the beginning of it all, when we’re in a classroom watching a student struggle to read a poem, which them turns into a bullying situation after class and interestingly a dead body being found the next morning.

We fast forward into the future where our main character is a Detective who’s one of the best at solving murder cases. Detective Samantha Jazz is the daughter of the Police Captain who was just murdered 3 months prior, and the goddaughter of the Police Chief, so she’s connected but she’s gotten to where she is on her own merit. When she’s back from leave from her father’s death, she’s quickly back into things where she’s called to sub in on a case where the killer left a poem in the victim’s mouth, an no one knows what it means. Sam is a Poet Master of sorts, ran a poetry club in college etc, and now she’s putting all that good learning to use.

The journey in this book is a complex one. We see the road that Sam has to go down to heal from her father’s death, and on top of that, she learned that her father wasn’t the cleanest of cops so there’s the stigma that comes along with that. She’s also trying to find her footing when she’s not exactly sure where she fits in anymore. She’s recently in limbo in a relationship and she’s not sure who she can trust.

The research that our author clearly did to make this story come to life was intense. We watch the process of examining a case from all angles, from the cops to the ME to the DA etc. We also watch how they form their hypothesis of who’s the suspect and how to track them down. We’re drawn down path after path on certain characters, never quite knowing if they are the culprit or not. On top of this though, there’s the fact that the detective who was assigned to the case previously is now missing and no one knows where he’s gone and if he’s alive.

Characters that we want to believe on our side are set up to seem as though they could be dirty or suspect. There’s a detective named Jackson that Sam wants to bring into the team but she gets an off feeling and he’s always where he’s not supposed to be, and at the same place as the presumed suspect. making him suspect.

While they’re trying to solve this murder mystery, there’s also a bit of romance to keep things on the same tone as what we get from LRJ, although not nearly as ‘erotic’ for lack of a better word. Sam’s ‘ex’ of sorts, Wade, comes back to help both professionally and personally since he’s FBI. We see that relationship take on a new form and want to have hope for the future.

What I will say about this story is that the path to the killer uncovers quite a bit of interesting ‘stuff’. No one is innocent and yet there’s a surprise twist nonetheless. I think you guys should definitely try to find this book when it’s out in March because I could NOT put it down. Enjoy!

Review: The Gold Coast (John Sutter Series #1) by Nelson DeMille


Title:  Gold Coast
Author: Nelson DeMille
Publisher/Year:  GrandCentral Publishing 3/28/91
Length:  550 pages
Series:  John Sutter Series #1


Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world. Told from Sutter’s sardonic and often hilarious point of view, and laced with sexual passion and suspense, THE GOLD COAST is Nelson DeMille’s captivating story of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal.

My Thoughts

Well, You guys are all probably scratching your heads as to why i’ve read and reviewed this one.  I am too.  To be completely honest, it wasn’t something that i was looking forward to at all!  Let’s go back a few days to Monday night when i was out drinking with my friend, and he some how managed to start debating books with me – like he reads nearly as much as i do.  So, somehow several drinks into it, he’s made me this list of books i HAVE to read, and therefore, yup – this is the first on that list.  His taste is sooooo clearly not mine, but there you go.

So in this first installment to the John Sutter Series, we’re introduced to the man himself, a guy who lives on the ‘Gold Coast’ of Long Island, the north shore, in a place where old money rules, and you have estates with names and not numbers.  his wife of course is the reason for this wealth, her family is OLLLLLLLD money.

Anyhow, it’s through a series of unfortunate events for Mr Sutter, that he ends up in hot water with the IRS, his wife (although she hot watered herself too) and any number of people in the town that life continues to step on him when he’s down.

Through a ‘friendship of sorts that he’s developed with his neighbor, Mr Bellarosa, who happens to be the head of the New York Mafia family, well, you can only imagine how his life is going to get exciting really quick.

The first few hundred pages are blah in my opinion, but that’s mostly because it’s not my style.  In my eyes, it only really gets interesting when Frank is arrested, and we get to see John sort of do his best to get him out on Bail, and then see what happens from there.  There was the air of ‘no fear’ that Bellarosa had, that he was untouchable because that was the way of things, and John had this perpetual fear of everything, so it balanced the pair out.

There are a lot of deaths as excepted in this mafia thriller, but also a lot of heartache and some interesting friendships forged along the way.  I can’t honestly say that i have any interest in continuing the series, but i think that i’ll be coerced along the way at some point.

On that note – happy saturday all!