Friday, September 22, 2017

The Trust

The Trust by Ronald H. Balson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Hardcover; 368 pages

Book Description:
When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral―a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

My Take:

I really had no idea what to expect from The Trust except that it takes place in Northern Ireland and involved The Troubles - always a fascinating, if sad topic. I was immediately drawn into the story and found Liam Taggart to be a likable and very interesting main character. For some reason I found the fact that he is a private investigator with CIA experience to be really appealing. He is a decent but complicated person.

For the first time in a long time, I wasn't able to predict where the story was going and that was such a pleasant surprise. I found the premise of the novel to be quite intriguing - Liam finds out his uncle has died and left him in charge of finding the killer of this same uncle. So many questions to answer- did his uncle know he was going to be killed? Did he know his killer? If so, why not name the killer? Why Liam, when other family members are closer and some don’t even want Liam there in the first place? The family drama and history is also a very interesting aspect to the novel -- there are so many half-told stories or things just kept secret that it makes for very interesting reading when things are revealed.

I really enjoyed The Trust from start to finish. I appreciated the history of The Troubles that was explained  within the novel so that I didn't have to Google or hunt for my Irish history books to remind myself of dates and details. I found the perspective of the Liam's family regarding the politics of the era to be very interesting. I think the way the novel explains their perspective really makes personal what may seem like dry history otherwise.

There are actually a couple of mysteries/murders for Liam to solve besides his uncle's murder. There were some events in his past when he was working for the CIA during the peace process that maybe weren't quite what he thought they were. There were definitely some questions about his family's actions during the time period that have a bearing on current day as well.

Rather than try to explain more about the intricate and wonderfully entertaining plot, I will just suggest very strongly that anyone who is interested in Ireland, Irish history, loves mysteries and/or thrillers, should definitely read The Trust. I haven't had this much fun reading a book in quite a long time. Balson had me guessing throughout the book and I loved every minute.

About the Author:
RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator, and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. He is also the author of Karolina's Twins, Saving Sophie, and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.


Book available at:


Monday, September 4, 2017

The Soldier's Return Book Blast

The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback
Series: Heaven's Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control? ​

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven's Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 4
A Book Geek
Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Tuesday, September 5
100 Pages a Day
The Reading Queen

Wednesday, September 6
Must Read Faster
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, September 7
The Writing Desk
The Maiden's Court
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, September 8
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, September 9
Passages to the Past
Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, September 10
I Heart Reading

Monday, September 11
A Literary Vacation
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, September 12
Jo's Book Blog
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, September 13
Laura's Interests
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 14
A Holland Reads
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, September 15
T's Stuff
Pursuing Stacie

A Man of Honor Blog Tour and Review

  A Man of Honor, or Horatio's Confessions by J.A. Nelson Publication Date: December 9, 2019 Quill Point Press Paperback, eBook & ...