Cover Image: Black Willows

Black Willows

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Member Reviews

Although this is the 2nd book in the Trapnell Thriller series it can be read as a standalone. If you like southern mysteries give it a go.

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This book felt like I was reading a reality television show. It had so much drama! The characters were all interesting but very over the top. The writing was good but this story was not what I was expecting.
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This book was just ok for me. I expected a big finish but I was very disappointed in the ending. It was an easy read.
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Review featured at www.books-n-kisses.com

I am on the fence about this book. Not because it wasn’t well written but it seemed so soap opera like. And also had every stereotypical southern trait ever mentioned. 

I found myself skipping a lot of the story and skipping just to the dialogue so I knew what was going on. 

Not my cup of tea leaves.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Jill Hand, and Black Rose Writing.  I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.  Though the second of a series, Black Willows is completely stand-alone, though it would be interesting to read the first Trapnell Thriller, as well. 

Jill Hand writes a snappy story with lots of well-to-do Georgians, a little Voodoo, the odd tulpa, two sets of offspring, and 40 billion at stake with the death of the family patriarch.  Shallow and self-absorbed, the 'children' of Daddy Trapnell will stop at nothing to garner more than their fair share of the estate.  And all is up for grabs as his oldest daughter is appointed to handle probate, and Sister already knocked her off six or eight months ago.  Are they going to have to wait seven years just to declare her dead and appoint another probationer?  They have so many extravagances waiting to entertain them!  Shades of Kardashian!  Really a hoot in places.
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An exciting, entertaining visit with a family that's very possibly more eccentric than my own.  When Dad kicks the bucket, the siblings and their immediate family start the battle over his estate, with some very weird results.  This is the 2nd in the Trapnell Thriller series, but I really didn't know that until I was well into the book, so didn't miss anything.  The characters and their plans for their wealth made me think of the game Clue with their hit or miss actions and consequences.  With a few ghostly.....maybe ghostly....characters thrown in, this was a welcome change to the heavy on tension and gore thrillers I've been reading.  If you do not have an active funny bone, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you're looking for an entertaining, but still a mystery book, this is it.
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Here is a tale of southern charm and scheming families. There is an undeniable humor here not only in its primary characters the Trapnell siblings but the supporting cast as well. A fathers death and missing will. A supposed dead stepsister and a brother, part lush,mostly drawling charm make for a delightful read. Karen said stepsister starts to appear around town and causing mischief. The siblings turn to Voodoo as a solution which brings a whole different light to the story. It’s a chase for easy money from a father who cast too long a shadow on their lives. It’s a look at life in a town, just small enough to house big illusions about the rich and faux rich. Happy reading
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Not my normal type of read but this one was gripping from start to finish.Would recommend this book and author to anyone who likes a good mystery.Will keep a look out for more from this author.
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I tried, but I couldn't get into this one. All the characters are unlikable. The plot is disjointed. I went back and got book one thinking I had missed something that would improve the story for me. It didn't. I couldn't get through either story. This may appeal to some readers, I just wasn't one of them. The writing itself is fine. It was the characters and plot I couldn't get into.
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The book was okay but not something that I would recommend.  I would guess that there are people that act this when it comes to wealth but they were weird in the things that they wanted to do with the money.
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The best thing I can say is I am glad I finished the book. This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. The characters are terrible, spoiled, eccentric wealthy people. These people think nothing of wanting to buy a Greek Island or a replica of the Titanic for an escape room and then throwing a tantrum because amazingly enough they don't have enough money since the will hasn't been probated. The parents tell their seven year old daughter inappropriate stories about stranger danger and embalming, and then say maybe she won't insist on hearing inappropriate topics. I kept thinking one of the characters was insane and this was their reality. No such luck totally ridiculous in its entirety.
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The Apple Dumpling Gang meets the red earth of Tara in this delicious romp through a Georgia playground of the rich and infamous.

When the family patriarch dies, spoiled rotten and uber shallow members of the Trapnell family drool over their slice of the $40 billion family fortune. Each relative tries to snatch the will from the shaky hands of a senile probate judge in order to further their own ridiculous plans. 

Fashion designer Aimee Trapnell wants to buy an Aegean island and fill it with snakes. Her sister-in-law Palmer wants to create a land-locked version of the Titanic. Brother Marsh is an international arms dealer. Nephew Benjamin is walking off demerits on the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” of an elite boys boarding school in Pennsylvania. Half-sister Karen is supposed to be dead. Turns out she’s a Buddhist nun who’s allegedly created a “tulpa” – an imaginary friend you can see. The tulpa’s after everyone and everyone is after the money as soon as they finish their mint juleps.

It’s a full day at the White Oaks estate. 

But something creepy and other-worldly stalks the Trapnells. What is it after, and why? Who’ll be floating belly up in the estate swamp next? And what’s up with the secret codes in the estate’s iron railings?

A brisk and breezy blend of humor, thriller/crime story, and fantasy, Black Willows has plenty of Southern charm. Ditto grits with cheddar cheese. French toast with pecans, bananas and raisins. Also enough dead-pan humor to sink a battleship. 

Peppered with memorable characters like “Birdsall Gormley” and “Peach Walker,” the story is nimble and engaging. Each chapter glides effortlessly into the next with the exception of chapter 25, “Kortney’s Double Life." It bogs down here. But this lively whodunit? soon regains momentum and quickly returns to the tracks. 

Indeed, Black Willows is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Just watch out for flying boomerangs, especially if you’re a “tulpa” wannabee.


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This book has too many plots and elements going to create a cohesive plot.  I don’t know I can recommend it.  You have to continually suspend belief.
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