By: Daniel Palmer
Publication Date: 5/31/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ Top Books of 2016 In a heart-pounding thriller from one of the most innovative voices in contemporary suspense, a woman unravels the shocking truth about her parents, her past, and a life built upon an unthinkable lie.
At DeRose & Associates Private Investigators in Virginia, Angie DeRose strives to find and rescue endangered runaways--work that stands in stark contrast to her own safe, idyllic childhood. But in the wake of her mother's sudden death, Angie makes a life-altering discovery. Hidden among the mementos in her parents' attic is a photograph of a little girl, with a code and a hand-written message on the back: "May God forgive me."
Angie has no idea what it means or how to explain other questionable items among her mother's possessions. Her father claims to know nothing. Could Angie have a sister or other relative she was never told about? Bryce Taggart, the US Marshal working with her agency, agrees to help Angie learn the fate of the girl in the photograph. But the lies she and Bryce unearth will bring her past and present together with terrifying force. And everything she cherishes will be threatened by the repercussions of one long-ago choice--and an enemy who will kill to keep a secret hidden forever.
A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. BTW, Great cover. The book, 10 Stars!! Totally A M A Z I N G ! FORGIVE ME, without a doubt "Top Books" of the Year. Movie-Worthy "Big Screen." Daniel Palmer's BEST yet! Palmer's (2015) Constant Fear and Trauma both landing on my Top Books of 2015. Once again . . . Highly Impressive: The author has produced two more "out of the park" hits, landing again on my Top Books of 2016:
Mercy Coming May 17, and Forgive Me, Coming May 31. Palmer must have superman qualities to crank out two extraordinary bestsellers in the same month, for two consecutive years. Your dad would be proud. As the book opens we learn of a woman, with tear stained eyes, writing a check and a note. She whispers the same phrase she has spoken every year on this day, at this exact moment. “May God forgive me.” Some dreams come at a price. Set in Virginia (parts in Maryland and Washington), Angie DeRose is a Private Investigator at DeRose & Associates. She had gone into business with a purpose, but had been naïve about the depth of human cruelty. Each case was like turning over a rock to see what sort of horror might slither out. She took it all to heart, carried with her the emotion of what she saw every day. From runaways or child custody cases, she went overboard to get results, to get proof in order to protect the child. From abuse, neglected, drug addicted parents- the world, a broken place. Her best friend Sarah had vanished without a trace her senior year of college. Missing. She longed to do something to honor her memory and her spirit. Her mission to find the runaway kids and take them back home. Nadine, a sixteen-year- old caught in world between divorced parents, living with an alcoholic and abusive mother, and an absentee wealthy father-- with a new life and family. Often no food in the refrigerator, and her mom drunk most of the time. She decides to leave. A runaway with no plan. Just to escape, and hopefully someone would notice. Innocent and vulnerable, the perfect candidate (victim) for an evil monster---a master manipulator. Lurking to find runaways, like Nadine. She is naïve and trusts this man, and soon finds herself in a prison, a nightmare, which she cannot escape. Soon she is drugged, locked in – her phone and wallet gone. No escape. Each day she writes in a journal and hides it in slot in her mattress. She will do anything to escape being put in the hole. Tortured, drugged, abused, locked in with men watching her every move along with the other girls—how will she ever escape? The DeRose family was well-respected, her dad ran DeRose Financial a financial service firm specializing in investing in high net worth individuals, and Kathleen, her mom, a big fund raiser. Her mom always wanted Angie to meet a man, but Angie was too busy with her business to have time for dating. She was on call 24/7. Her only other extended family-- her stand in, aunt and uncle-friends of her parents. Soon Angie is hired to help find Nadine. While she is busy with the case tracking down leads with her employees, Angie receives some tragic news. Her mom dies unexpectedly and when cleaning out her things she comes across a photo of a little girl around four years old missing an ear. There is a code on the bottom with letters and numbers. On the back is a message, “May God forgive me.” Angie, with her keen detective skills, has to crack this code. How was her mom connected with this child? Between the intense case of Nadine, suspecting sextrafficking, and the ongoing mystery surrounding this photo, Angie is surrounded by danger. What dark family secrets could her parents be hiding? Her mom was one of the most caring and giving women she knew. Bao, a former runaway Angie had found, and was later adopted. A few years later after he turned twenty, he went to work for Angie as a certified computer forensic consultant. He provided incredible assets—not only with his only skills and expertise at the keyboard, but also because he knew how runaway kids thought. She also works with Mike (another former client in a custody case), who also runs another business and helps with her overflow. (A great team). When Nadine’s case becomes top priority, the FBI is now involved and Bryce Taggart, the US Marshal is working with Angie. She connects with him to help her with answers of the haunting little girl in the photograph. However, she has no clue the dangerous past they are about to uncover. There are enemies who will stop at nothing to protect their secret. Angie, a tenacious, unstoppable PI. A family secret. A mysterious photograph. A little girl without an ear. A code. A missing teen. Witness protection. Angie is haunted by Sarah, and Nadine haunted by Jade. Both victims, they have to save.
OMG, the suspense and intensity is at an all time high. Nothing plays out as you think. Fast-paced, non-stop action-- adrenaline fueled, readers will be page-turning to find answers to this riveting mystery. What made this book so unforgettable (more than one thing). The heart wrenching journal entries. I loved Girls Like Me by Nadine Jessup). Palmer gets inside a sixteen year old girl's mind. From the dialect, social media, the innermost sensitive thoughts.
“There’s just different experiences we can choose to learn from, to grow from, or choose to let define us. Not everything happens for a reason, but there is reason everything happens. Real life isn’t neat and tidy like that. It doesn’t get tied up in a cute little bow. That’s for fairy tales, right? We know those fairy tale endings aren’t real, but we can still dream. We can still believe. Hope."
Next, the two separate storylines. Brilliant! Both stories will keep you glued to the pages (like a book inside a book); Shocking twists you do not see coming --how the photograph plays out. Masterminds. Beautifully written, powerful, explosive, skillfully developed, impeccably researched; A highly-charged inter-generational mystery suspense thriller of dark evil secrets. "A must read" for every teen and adult, worldwide. Emotional, complex, suspenseful, highly-innovative, and "jaw-dropping," edge of your seat thriller. A double whammy--two books in one. From twists and turns, shockers, missing and exploited teens, runaways, drugs, sextrafficking, alcoholism, greed, corruption, and murder, to age-old crimes; an ongoing mystery--Connects. Told from different POVs. Please, please, please . . . . let this be the beginning of a series! These characters HOOK you from page one, and "hang" long after the book ends. They are way TOO good to end. More Angie, Nadine, Bryce, Bao, Mike (Jade, Sarah, Sasha). After finishing the book at 5 am this morning (no, you cannot put it down)-- the vivid characters continue to haunt me, running through my mind constantly, during my 50 mile bike ride today. Daniel, words cannot adequately express my thoughts and strong feelings for this "talented work of art". I am speechless. You, sir have outdone yourself. #Amazeballs(taking a page from your book). You ARE cool, like that.Evocative journal entries Award-winning! Would love to hear more about the inspiration behind this intriguing book (both stories) with an author Q&A. Informative & enlightening—21 million people, just like Nadine. Forced labor takes different forms, including debt bondage, sextrafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The victims are the most vulnerable – women and girls forced into prostitution. This is a big one. Epic! Move FORGIVE ME to the top of your list Buy Now.
By: Daniel Palmer ISBN: 0758293453 Publisher: Kensington Publication Date: 5/26/2015 Format: Other My Rating: 5 Stars
About the Author
DANIEL PALMER is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. He is also an occasional short story writer, with THE DEAD CLUB in the ITW anthology, First Thrills, and DISFIGURED, found in Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up At Night.
Though he always had a passion for storytelling, writing wasn’t Daniel Palmer’s first foray into the entertainment industry. In fact, Daniel considers himself an accidental novelist who first began his career as a musician. He spent several years performing in the Boston club scene and released two CDs. Music allowed an outlet for storytelling that has translated into his writing.
Another successful endeavor of Daniel’s has been technology and e-commerce, which coincided with the dot-com boom and led to Daniel helping pioneer the first generation of web sites, most notably Barnes & Noble. The impact of the internet and social media on ordinary lives gave Daniel the basis for his writing, first with DELIRIOUS and most recently, with STOLEN. With tech-centric themes, Daniel’s novels focus on ordinary men pitted against extraordinary circumstances.
Daniel is actively involved with the Red Sox Home Base program, helping to raise money for veterans suffering from PTSD. Daniel holds a Master’s degree from Boston University and currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children. Read More