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Carolina Reckoning by Lisa Carter

Carolina Reckoning

by Lisa Carter

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2 different friends and one beloved sister told me to just give up on this book, after much ranting. One wise friend went on to say "Life is too short to be wasting on books you can't stand". Therefore, to say that I did not like this book is a severe understatement. Between the "B.W.W.C."s (that's Before the World Went Crazy, a phrase used frequently in this book.), cheesy romances (apparently, when you become a widow, the men just come crawling out of the woodwork), a terrible love triangle (that is too immature for even juvenile fiction), stereotyping of characters (the classic creepy kid who does dirty work just to get approval from his psycho mom), cheap jabs at overweight people (dubbing characters as "hefty", for example), this book was a particular struggle for me. I hated the misconception of her daughter, Claire. She was called the "ice princess" by one of Allison's love interests, among other references to her severe personality that was not displayed in the book. Instead, she comes across as a matchmaker (by the way, what teenager is eager for their newly widowed mother to date?), problem solver, and a great chef (who is apparently responsible for all of the meal preparations). Claire's bullying severely irritated me because it was so extreme that it was unrealistic. I have never heard of (nor have my dear friends or sister that I ranted to) high school kids mocking a fellow student because their dad was shot! These characters taunt Claire by stalking her in a car and mimicking being shot in the head and dying! I understand the need to make these old friends of hers "B.W.W.C." undesirable, but that was too far. There are other characters who are villainous that mock Allison because of her former husband's wandering eye. Who DOES that? Furthermore, the obsession with coffee (Kona to be exact, the main character is a coffee connoisseur), flip-flops, double French doors, and plants was heavily present.

Although I appreciate the wisdom of my friends and sister to give up on the book, I just couldn't. Something inside of me really wanted to give it a fair chance and finish. I was so excited when I received this book through Goodreads FirstReads and I did not want to be disappointed. Unfortunately, 90% of the book did disappoint me. However, for you optimists reading this, there was one redeeming factor. I did not expect who the killer turned out to be, the climax of that part was a relief.

All things considered, I just really feel that if the author had taken out the overused phrases and obsessions, a lot of the details and mental chatter, and shortened it into a novella, it would have been quite an improvement. It seemed, to me anyway, to have too many concepts thrown into one book: Mystery, Romance, Civil War History, Christianity, High School Drama, Horticulture, Kona, Flip-Flops, and Stereotypes.

Please note: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  JanJanFreeman | May 5, 2015 |
When I first read the synopsis for this book I was eager to read it. It sounded like an interesting story line full of twists and turns, but I found myself having a hard time getting into the story or the characters. I don't think it was necessarily the story, but due more to my personal tastes.

I was provided a copy of this book through a giveaway. All opinions are my own. ( )
  rdewey17 | Jun 25, 2014 |
Alison has had suspicions for a while that her husband Frank is cheating on her when she finds a picture of him with his arm wrapped around another woman. Unfortunately the picture does not show the woman's face and Alison is left to wonder under Frank arrives home later that night.Allison is never able to confront Frank because Frank is found murdered only a few miles away from his house. Allison soon joins forces with the lead detective of the case trying to find the murderer.

I liked the characters and enjoyed seeing them evolve on their spiritual journey.I was reading through all the clues constantly second guessing myself on who I felt the real murderer was. I liked the ending and didn't feel like the romance took away from the mystery involving the murder. ( )
  amym53 | May 27, 2014 |
“Carolina Reckoning” by Lisa Carter was a very good murder mystery. Alison Monaghan and her children Justin and Claire are waiting for the return of their husband and father, Frank, from his latest flight as a pilot. Alison has reason to suspect that Frank has been unfaithful and is determined that this time, she will confront him once and for all. No more will she try to keep the peace because Frank can wound with words. She is going to decide where to go from her and what to do with her life. She doesn’t get that chance. Frank does not come home that night and in the morning she opens the door to the police. Frank has been killed.

Mike Barefoot is the detective assigned to the case and suspects her of the killing, which is the usual procedure. Frank has not been the model husband and person that people think he was. Mike soon decides that Alison is not the murderer. They both try to find out who killed Frank. There is a lot of speculation and many more suspects until the end of the story provides a big surprise. I liked this book a lot and could not put it down because I was so interested in the outcome of the investigation.

I was sent this free advance reader copy of this book from the publisher, Abingdon Press in return for my honest review.

You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-81. ( )
  SilverShrew | Feb 20, 2014 |
Title: Carolina Reckoning
Author: Lisa Carter
Pages: 328
Year: 2013
Publisher: Abingdon
Mike Barefoot is a homicide detective in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been assigned the Monaghan case. Frank Monaghan has been found shot in the head in his car just a few miles from home. Mike’s first meeting with Frank’s widow, Alison Monaghan, is when she is told for the first time about her husband’s murder. He soon begins to rely on the God his granny had taught him about and surrenders his life to Him. As his investigation gets underway, he becomes more and more convinced that Alison did not murder her husband. He spends more time with her and begins discussing the case and soon they have formed a loose partnership to find the killer. Mike grows to love Alison and her two teenage children. However, after months pass, the killer still has not been caught and soon strikes again.
Alison Monaghan has known deep inside that her husband has been unfaithful to her many times, but now she has proof. Then, the police show up and tell her he’s dead. Now what is she to do? Her husband used to take care of everything and now, after reading his will, she discovers their finances are a mess. She needs a job, so she goes to work at a local historical site where she used to volunteer. She is incredibly angry and hurt at her husband’s infidelity, but still feels no one had the right to kill him. She vows to discover his killer. As her search begins, she realizes she can’t keep doing life on her own and gives her life to the God of her best friend. She begins reading through the Bible, attending church and praying. She finds a peace she has never known before. She finds love with Mike. She also finds out who killed her husband.
I really enjoyed the plot and the mystery had plenty of twists and turns to hold my interest. One thing I didn’t like was the two main characters almost simultaneously giving their lives to God. I thought the chances very unrealistic to happen in this manner. I read a lot of Christian fiction and am thankful for the Christian themes in this story, just not the timing of the conversions. I did like the relationship between Mike and Alison’s children and his interest in their lives. I also liked the conflict between the two males interested in gaining Alison’s affections. I am looking forward to more mysteries from this author and hope readers will take the time to take part in this mystery.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Oct 30, 2013 |
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When 30-something housewife, Alison Monaghan discovers proof of her husband's infidelity in a photograph with a mysterious woman, she must decide how to confront Frank when he returns home from work. Despite the influence of her best friend Valerie, a strong Christian, Alison remains aloof from God and is determined to handle this crisis her own way. But Alison may not get that chance. Frank never makes it home. Soon his body is found on a lonely back-country road in antebellum Weathersby Historic Park where Frank served on the board of directors and where Alison, with a degree in landscape design, was a volunteer garden docent. Homicide detective Mike Barefoot, a Cherokee native from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, immediately puts Alison at the top of his suspect list. He finds himself drawn to her--and not just because she had motive for the crime. As an army veteran, Mike usually keeps his emotional walls high. And as a detective, he knows not to get involved with murder suspects. So why he is so attracted to Alison? Can he fight his feelings for her--and the stirrings in his heart toward God?… (more)

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