Book Review: The Failsafe Query

The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins is a fast-paced adventure that takes you to places around the globe people only read about in the newspaper. This is a modern-day spy thriller that keeps you turning pages until the end.  

Sean Richardson is in all the way, trying to find out how much more destruction may come to the countries which are not allies with Iraq. The story begins shortly after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, a field in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon in 2001. The opening is quick to show you what life as an operative working for the government might be faced with. Each chapter brings you deeper into Richardson’s career, with well thought out plans and well written information to allow the reader to become engrossed in each situation.  

I give this book four out of five stars as it took me some reading to make sense of exactly who Richardson was, who he was working for, and what he was after. Some of the chapters are more in-depth, which makes reading slower if you don’t have a background in the history of the Middle East and the British government. It is engaging and a great book for those looking for a good spy thriller!  


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Being a Book Reviewer

I review books for different venues. One of these is called Reedsy Discovery. When you apply to be a reviewer you may be offered an interview, where you will be briefed on expectations.

There is an opportunity with Reedsy to make money as a reviewer. When you join you open an account that money can be moved into based on your reviews. When someone likes your review and comments on it you may be given a small amount of money. If you love to read and can offer a lot of reviews, your chance of getting positive feedback increases.

If you would like to join you can click here https://reedsy.com/discovery/reviewers/apply?referral=christine-bialczak
If you join through my link I will receive $50! Once you are a reviewer you can have this opportunity too!

Check it out. It is a great opportunity to read books for free, while choosing within your favorite genre or venturing out to see what else you might enjoy!

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Book Review – Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Written by Sherrill Joseph: http://sherrilljoseph.com/

Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse by Sherrill Joseph is the second book in her Nutmeg Street Detective series, and it has only gotten better! Join these young detectives as they use logic and other clues to solve a mystery that hits very close to home. 

Lanny, Lexi, Moki, and Rani are becoming well known in their neighborhood for solving mysteries. The four juveniles are smart, talented, and pride themselves on their impeccable manners and mature conversation. In this second book, Isabela de Cordoba is a young woman who has just turned 21 years old and with this birthday milestone she gets a letter from a relative long gone, her great, great grandfather. The letter alerts Isabela that there is a valuable green emerald hidden on her property, a gem worth millions of dollars. Isabela needs help finding it and when she starts hearing noises in the house, while she is home alone, she invites the Nutmeg Street Detectives to come and stay to help her solve the mysteries of her ancestors and find out if her home is haunted.  

There are many new characters introduced in this story and for the most part it can be understood without having read the first book, but it helps to know who these kids are and where they come from, all information that helps the reader understand the characters better. Based on wealth and a lot of good luck, some young readers may not relate to the characters as well, as they present themselves as four very privileged individuals.  

I give this story five out of five stars for its believable characters and fast-moving plot. In this second book of the set, Joseph has portrayed a young person today, including their use of cell phones for flashlights and pictures! This book will keep you wondering and turning pages right up to the end.  

©2020 CBialczak Book Review

Tea with Rasputin: Book Review

Tea with Rasputin by Rolf Richardson is a realistic fiction story that sends you on a journey around the globe with many twists you will not expect. From the UK and US and on to the Soviet Union, Richardson’s history lesson leaves you understanding some implications of running an international business. 

This story is based around a British airline company and the people it chooses to employ, with many subplots filling the pages. Terry is fresh out of the British army and new to British World Airways based in the United Kingdom. A well-known and respected pilot, Greg Wilton has disappeared. Not having anyone immediately available, except Terry, who is new and at “the bottom of the barrel,” he is sent to find Greg Wilton. Greg’s reputation is positive, and he has been successful so far; this could be a position Terry might like someday down the road. For now, Terry will find his niche in the US and then in the Soviet Union, proving he is a trustworthy, hardworking employee for BWA. Terry meets people along the way that help him try to find the missing pilot and most stay close for the rest of his adventures. Setting up successful airport locations is Terry’s primary job with BWA, allowing him new opportunities with his family and a successful career he builds on his own.  

I would give this story three out of five stars for its relatable characters and realistic plot. The pace of the story is slow to start and drags on a bit throughout the entire book leaving you anxiously wondering what will happen next. It has many interesting insights into employment with an international company, as well as intrigue and deception. Despite its drawn-out content, the book is worth reading with an ending that is worth every minute. 

©2020 CBialczak Book Review

Emergence: Book Review

5 Star Customer Service Award

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Emergence by Shira Shiloah is a captivating medical thriller that will keep you wondering how evil can surpass true caring and professionalism.  

Roxanne Roth is a dedicated anesthesiologist, proud of her experience and compassion for the patients she treats, but no one wants to listen to her when she tells them that Dr. Webb is purposely killing his patients.  

Dr. Webb is an experienced neurosurgeon with a side to him no one who works with him ever witness. His recklessness spreads far beyond the operating room, to partying, prostitutes, and drugs. He has a clean record as far as anyone can see but, does he really care about being a doctor?  

I give this story 5 out of 5 stars for the fast-paced plot and believable characters. The story is a mix of Grey’s Anatomy meets Dexter. Even when you think the evil is about to end, hold on for a spin, where trusted professionals are put to the test to protect their own reputations. Although the beginning is slightly confusing as you try to sort out who the main players are and their roles, every aspect of this story rolls out nicely to provide a quick read and unbelievable plot. It is a medical thriller that will make you think twice about the doctors you choose when you must go under the knife.  

©2020 CBialczak Book Review

Dead Woman Scorned Book Review

Book #2 in the Michael Clark’s ghost story!

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Dead Woman Scorned by Michael Clark is book #2 in his series of modern-day ghost stories. Tim is just about to finish completing all the renovations of his haunted property, but the ghost is still angry with him and Holly for their actions in the first book. Now is the time to seek revenge. 

Tim and Holly have developed both their relationship as well as a beautiful property to get on the market. They want to be done with the house; the ghost wants to be done with them! This story, while moving the plot forward, also brings the reader back to learn about the history of souls who have haunted the property. The biggest problem now is the public and the authorities are getting involved, possibly marring the property and leaving Tim unable to sell and get his head above water financially.  

I give this story 4.5 out of 5 stars because of Clark’s ability to tie together so many intersecting lines, keeping the reader turning pages to find out what is going to happen next. At times some of the story lines seem a bit long but Clark has found a way to pull it all together at the end.  Each story line continues to seem believable, even if you don’t believe in ghosts. No spoiler here, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on book #3! 

The Outsider’s Mind: Book Review

The Outsider’s Mind : A Collection of Short Stories and the Quotes They Inspired by Sean Aeon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Outsiders Mind by Sean Aeon sends your mind on a journey to places you have only briefly ever thought about or never even knew existed. This collection of quotes and short stories leaves you wondering why you never looked closer at life.

The less conventional set up of this book is constructed with a series of quotes and short stories that probe into the minds of people and creatures alike. Stories have been fabricated with a spark of science fiction meets psychoanalysis mixed with modern day vampire stories. Aeon presents abstract ideas through a plethora of characters, often leaving you wondering who or what the passage is really referring to, or who is being influenced in these peculiar situations. You are given the starting point and led in obscure directions that revolve around simple intentions. For example, have you ever thought of time travel or traveling to another dimension? Aeon tries to address this idea but makes you think even deeper; how would I get there, and could I get back? He presents, through his stories, ideas that make you wonder who really has a true grasp on the facts. In another story you learn what might be going through a bee’s mind if it could think as logically as humans can.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for its unique interpretation of the study of the mind. Some of the stories start out straight forward while others require you to go back to the beginning of that short story to find out if what you have just read is really about what you are now reading. Characters are vague in certain passages, leaving you wondering if you even know who or what you were reading about! Overall, the thought-provoking aspect of this story is original and keeps you reading until the end of the book. Aeon keeps you captivated with stories that will boggle your mind.



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Median Gray: Book Review

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Median Gray by Bill Mesce, Jr is an NYPD story showing the real grit and the extremes officers in New York go through with a compelling voice leading you to think you are there listening to Big Sid, Ronnie, and Captain Van Dyne as they work together to clean up the city streets and the corrupt station they belong to.  

Ronnie is a rookie who has been paired up with Big Sid, a seasoned veteran of the NYPD. Under the leadership of Captain Victor Van Dyne, those officers who have not been involved in the scandal plaguing their precinct, work together to find out who is dirty, who is not and who they need to get off the streets.  The story starts with a gripping view of Officer Meara when he was a rookie cop then jumps ahead to “now” when most of the precinct has been found to be corrupt. The story is believable and delivers a realistic depiction of true-life officers with the only confusion being that it is hard at the beginning to know who is on the good side and which precinct they belong to. Once the story starts moving it all seems to fall into place quickly.  

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars for a believable plot, relatable characters, and true-to-life New York City Police Department police officers. Fast-paced and engrossing you won’t want to put this book down until you find out how it all ends.   

©2020 CBialczak

Patience of a Dead Man Book Review

By Michael Clark

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Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark is a 20th century ghost story set in rural New Hampshire. When Holly sells Tim a run-down fixer upper, neither of them has any reason to question the inexpensive property, eventually learning more than a fair share of the local history. 

Fresh out of a nasty divorce Tim needs to start over, but after losing just about everything to his ex-wife, he must find a way to do it quick and to do it cheap. The plot starts quickly and moves swiftly, engaging the reader from the first page. The mystery surrounding Tim’s new home quickly unravels and as soon as you think you have it all figured out, Clark introduces another thread to the plot. This is a tale with many twists and turns as the characters dig deeper and deeper, until you are dying to get to the last page.  

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars, for a compelling, mysterious ghost story that keeps you hooked from the start. The characters are relatable and convincing; it might make you start questioning your own beliefs. If you believe in ghosts this may be a five-star read, yet it is worth reading even for the hard skeptics.  

©2020 CBialczak Book Review

Altered Helix: Book Review

 Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen is a fast paced, coming of age mystery where the life of one teen becomes intertwined with a group of similarly aged young adults. Join Austria as she learns more about where she came from and what life has in store for her.  

Readers will enjoy the twists and turns of this quickly pivoting plot, at once drawn in by a sneak peek of the main character’s face with danger: being kidnapped from her job. The author introduces a variety of characters and the reader is left wondering who might be responsible for the kidnapping, who can be trusted and who cannot.  

The plot is amazingly easy to follow and moves quickly so readers are always awaiting the next event. The situations the characters are in are believable as related to the plot line and anyone who has wondered what to do with their futures will instantly relate to Austria, the main character.  

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. While Austria is a character well developed by the author there are some interactions between characters that did not seem realistic. Early in the book Austria first meets one of the other boys her age. She is instantly attracted to him, but her reaction is quick to judge. Pg. 21: “Well signed up for or not, Joshua excites me. I just need to show him that I make the decisions here.” 

Hansen has set up this story with a nice conclusion in addition to leaving enough ends open to incite you to read the next story in the series. I do look forward to reading about Austria and how she continues to develop.  

©2020 CBialczak Book Review