New Release Blitz and Review: In The Trap by Jessica Cranberry

Title: In the Trap

Series: Hazel & Maeve: The Campus Mysteries, Book One

Author: Jessica Cranberry

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 05/10/2022

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 67500

Genre: Contemporary, campus drama, college, contemporary, drug and alcohol use, HFN, lit/genre fiction, murder mystery, new adult, no romance, self-harm, students

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Description

For Hazel, an introvert with a knack for people watching, campus life is awkward and hard and…lonely. That is, until she starts to let her guard down around her roommate, Maeve—who’s fun and has a wicked flair for drama. Could there be more than just a friendship here? Maybe. But Hazel has a lot of family trauma to work through before figuring out the other big parts of her life. For now, she’s just happy to have someone to talk to.

All seems to go well until a night in the Trap—the university’s green space—leads to a tense encounter with some drunk guys. When one of the guys ends up dead, Hazel is implicated, and she and Maeve set out to solve the crime before police can connect either of them to it. But how can two amateur sleuths put together a solid case to hand over to the police in time? By following the campus online diaries, that’s how.

Set at the beginning of the internet age, people are just starting to share all their deepest, darkest secrets via the World Wide Web, yet the assumption of online anonymity may be a critical mistake. As the perpetrator posts their criminal diary for public consumption, Hazel and Maeve scramble to use technology to piece together the murderer’s identity. Can they hack their way out of becoming suspects? And if so, could they ever go back to their boring majors? Continue reading

Review: Wind Down by Mark Ewig

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Wind Down by Mark Ewig

Aaron Starks survived a near death experience when he was stabbed by an unknown assailant. All of his college roommates were suspects. However, investigators could turn up nothing to catch the attempted murderer.
Fifteen years later, Aaron is all grown up with a family. Things are going great until he starts experiencing strange blackouts and other paranormal visions. During the blackouts he still interacts with others, but he cannot remember anything he said or did. Doctors are unable to provide an answer. It is not until Aaron has an encounter with Ju’van, a local shaman, that he realizes what he needs to do. He is sent on a journey to meet up with all his old roommates to discover the truth on what really happened the night he was stabbed in the back.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Wind Down on Goodreads


 

Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 2 Stars

Fifteen years ago university student Aaron Starks was stabbed in the back and left for dead. His attacker was never caught and Aaron had always suspected that one or more of his friends and flatmates may have been involved. Fifteen years on and Aaron is married to his university sweetheart, has three children and his dream job. Then his perfect life is shattered when he starts experiencing blackouts. When doctors are unable to find a reason for these, Aaron learns that his blackouts are connected to the attack on him all those years ago.

I really liked the concept of this novel. The ideas are very clever and original, and this had the potential to be an excellent paranormal/mystery. Unfortunately there were quite a few things that let it down.

The grammar is very poor. It jumps between tenses almost constantly making it very difficult to read, and also punctuation has been used incorrectly throughout. Whilst the characters have potential they are undeveloped and very immature for their age. They act more like primary school children than university students. The writing itself isn’t bad, but it yo-yo’s from either rambling long descriptions to very short sentences.

However, as I said this has great potential. In my opinion it needs to be longer with a lot more time taken to character build (especially the university part of the novel). A revision that adds to this good start combined with addressing the points I made above would make this a really unique and page-turning read.

And I loved the twist at the end! I never saw that coming!