THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY
(A Thorny Rose Mystery #4)
BY LAUREN CARR
Narrated by Mike Alger
Genre: Adult Fiction (18 +)
Pages: 388 pages
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 30, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries,
so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on
stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some
mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!
Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin. Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.
Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.
“She was number twelve,” Dean says.
“Twelve?” Murphy asks.
“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”
Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:
"Wow - this is one INCREDIBLE novel that I could not put down. It had me on the edge of my seat and I can honestly say that I never saw the end coming. It was full of suspense, action but also humour (done in a way that only Lauren can accomplish)." - Working Mommy Journal, 5-Star Review of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY
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HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio Book Review. I’ve read (with my ears) a number of books from the different mystery series by Lauren Carr, and there are things I can count on, every time: a huge cast of characters, a number of plots and subplots with red flags and red herrings, non-stop action, a high body count, and animal antics to amuse readers. Most importantly, being immersed in one of Carr’s books is always time well-spent.
The Nutcracker Conspiracy is no different. It’s the fourth in the Thorny Rose Mysteries (the second for me; I also read book three, Murder by Perfection) with a perfect possible governmental conspiracy plot – and a lot of side stories – to keep readers engaged and on their toes. The first scene in this book is a little different from other books and caught my attention; were we going to have a touch of the supernatural in the story? This piece and the concluding scene, when the paranormal incident is revisited, are fabulous bookends to the story, and that’s all I will say about that.
“No, the pizza guy did not deliver to the wrong house…
Gnarly mugged him!”
As I mentioned, there is always a huge cast of characters, but in each book, readers get to better know the regulars. This time, we’re getting to know Tristan and his sister Jessica, and they are as different as night and day and a hoot. Many of the characters are crossover characters from other Carr mysteries. For readers who are familiar with all the series books and characters, this is an especially fun treat, but it can be a little confusing about who is married to/related to whom and from which series they come. Since my favorite series is the Chris Matheson Cold Cases, I was thrilled that Chris and his feisty mom, Doris (and Sterling, their dog!) were along for the ride in The Nutcracker Conspiracy. But my favorite cameo, hands down, is Gnarly, the German shepherd who is not only a food thief but a scene stealer and manipulator of humans. He provides much needed clever comic relief when the storyline gets complicated – and complicated it gets.
Typically, readers are required to suspend their disbelief a time or two, and that’s okay, but The Nutcracker Conspiracy pushed it a bit too far for me around a major plot point and related detail. I just couldn’t accept the conclusion. Nonetheless, as the seemingly wild, unrelated threads of the story begin to untangle, Carr works her magic and masterfully weaves them together with all loose ends tied. Another thing I enjoy with Carr’s books is that readers can count on all questions being answered for a satisfying conclusion, and this time, we get an epilogue that is a massive loose-end tier-upper.
ABOUT THE NARRATION: Mike Alger has narrated every book of Carr’s that I’ve listened to (and may be her only narrator), and he just keeps getting better. Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of the early books, but in The Nutcracker Conspiracy, he has upped his game by adding lots more accents than just the usual variations on male/female (and the female voices are much improved). Pacing was great, and I didn’t notice any odd pronunciations like I have in the past. The technical aspect is improved as well, and I didn’t notice any glitches or hitches or background noises. Well-done!
Thank you to the author and iRead Book Tours for providing me an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
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Meet the Author:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Connect with the author:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Enter the Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Gift Card
courtesy of author Lauren Carr
(ends July 3)
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