Cover Image: Blow Up

Blow Up

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars 

I really like the idea/ plot line of this book and it intrigued me. However, I feel that it could’ve been made even better if the main themes were explored a little more and some middle bits got taken out. It did enough to just hold my attention. The plot could’ve been made much stronger and more thriller if some changes were made, for instance, if the author explored more about the judge, his background and subsequently the ending. 

What I liked about this book;
- The plot was good although it could be made better 
- There was some character development 

What I didn’t like;
- the characters. I thought they were all so closed off and didn’t like them one bit
- the ending felt a little rushed
- some chapters were too long 

All in all it was a good book, not my favourite and not the worst. I would still recommended to a friend for a quick read, or someone who wants to start reading thriller books as this is pretty tame
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While out for a run with a friend, 
photojournalist Sophie Medina finds the body of Supreme Court Justice Everett Townshend, barely alive.   Townshend dies in the ER; Sophie realizes that she has seen him before. She also hears a shocking allegation about Townshend from Javi, a homeless man she knows; Javi is murdered soon after, and Sophie finds herself in danger as she works to determine the truth.

Sophie is a wonderful heroine, brave, insatiably curious, and deeply caring.  Her investigation causes her to worry about one of her best friends.  In addition to her current danger, she is grieving for her husband, killed overseas, and for the grandfather who inspired her career.  She is told uncomfortable facts about both men in the course of the story, adding to her burdens.  And yet she persists.

Crosby weaves several threads into this well-plotted story.  For this reader, the most rewarding aspect is her portrayal of Sophie and several other well-drawn characters.  Highly recommended.
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Setting the Scene:  Ellen Crosby's latest book in her Sophie Medina series takes place several years after the 2nd, and it isn't giving anything away to say that it begins with the news of her beloved husband's death and the aftermath of that tragedy. More than a year later, Sophie has questions, and she will stop at nothing to get them answered; but, as her friend Jack warns her, sometimes you may find out things you do not want to know.  When Sophie and Jack literally run upon the body of an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the day after Sophie witnessed him in a compromising situation, things get even more heated, especially after Sophie learns of some irregularities in his death.  In keeping with the "be careful what you ask" theme, that knowledge proves to be quite hazardous to the health of those who have it, or even suspect it, when another death follows, and Sophie becomes a target herself.  Not to pile on, but Sophie's beloved grandfather also died a few months earlier, and questions are raised that threaten his estate and his legacy. All in all, Sophie has her plate full.

What I thought:  I loved the first 2 books in this series, and this book is just as well written.  The mysteries are top notch, and I still enjoy the characters.  So, why did this book not measure up for me?  First, I found the blatantly one-sided political references, possibly even unfounded, to be distracting and unnecessary. Setting those aside, because they were passing references and some readers will have no objection, I also am not a fan of figuratively throwing a grenade into the midst of the lives of virtually the entire cast of characters.  A great part of the Sophie Medina from the first 2 books cannot exist going forward; Jack's life is upended, as well; and other characters' lives are left in turmoil, not just the bad guys.  Yes, life happens.  Good people's lives are irrevocably changed, whether by their own actions or others, but I can watch the news or read non-fiction for those stories.  I finished the book dissatisfied and sad. For those of you who enjoy such tumult and mayhem, this book will be a 5 star for you because, as I said, the writing, the mysteries, and the characters are first rate.  It is the soul I found in the first 2 books that is missing for me.  That said, I cannot say whether or not I will read the next book in the series.  Only time will tell.
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A simple assignment leads renowned photojournalist Sophie Medina down a dark and dangerous path in this gripping puzzler of a mystery set in Blow Up by Ellen Crosby.

Sophie is a good protagonist and likable. She seemed to make appropriate decisions, and the story flowed well. I did not read the other books in the series, and I don't feel I missed anything. This can be read as a stand-alone book. The author skillfully unravels the story and provides nice atmospheric descriptions that make you feel like you are right in the action.

I would recommend this book. I will also check out more books by this author. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

#SophieMedinaMystery #NetGalley @severnhouse
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Talk about fast paced! I loved how Cleveland written this was and how many layers it had. As a Scot, u have no awareness of the locale of the story but luckily the author really did bring the city and the environment to life for me to such a degree that I could easily picture every scene. It kind of gave me Scandal vibes if Olivia Pope had been a photographer lol. Which is high praise indeed for the author because we all know when it comes to TV, Shonda is queen! The characters are well written. I didn't know this was book 3 of 3 so I'd be interested to go back and see how the series started. I also loved that the support characters weren't your normal, clichéd cast either and even they were written with a uniqueness to them whoch also just brings the book to life so much since let's be honest, not e er reported/photographer has a jaded cop frenemy or a odd ball coroner to help them solve these mysteries and such
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*3.5 stars*

Photojournalist, Sophie Medina, is out for a run near Capitol Hill with Catholic priest and old friend Jack O’Hara, when roadworks force them to take an alternative route, where they chance upon the body of Associate Supreme Court Justice, Everett Townsend. A known diabetic, Townsend is barely alive. He’s rushed to ER, where unfortunately he dies. 

That’s not the end of his story though, as the murder of a young homeless man Javi, connects directly to Townsend. Javi was murdered, but prior to his murder, he confided in Sophie, and what he told her concerning Townsend was not only shocking but, if true, could have far reaching consequences for the American justice system. 

The secret eats away at Sophie, but she’ll discover that investigating Javi’s claims, will put her life in danger, and besides, who’ll believe the word of a homeless person?

Sophie is a determined protagonist, and mere threats won’t stop her from seeking the truth, but in her quest to find justice for Javi, she’s travelling a dangerous road alongside people who have mislaid their moral compass. But such is their determination to bury this secret, they’ll make sure that anyone intent on a little diligent digging, will not live long enough to reveal what they have to conceal!

Although I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series, I found it read well as a stand-alone. Great descriptions of the locality added much to the storyline, together with some interesting characters, not least Sophie, who comes under immense pressure, not to mention danger, to deter her from further investigations. After the introduction of the main characters, the story took off at a good pace urging the reader ever onward to discover who or what is behind this shocking secret.
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Blow Up is the third book in the Sophie Medina Mysteries written by Ellen Crosby. I've read the author's other series, Wine Country Mysteries, and the first two in this one, which were written many years ago. Thankfully, the series was approved to restart, and I enjoyed reading more about Sophie's life as a photographer in Washington DC. Caught up in political scandals, affairs, murder, and other troubling events, she rises through it all and saves the day. As a protagonist, she's strong and admirable. I enjoy how she analyzes situations, wants to support her friends, and emerges from the pain of her husband's death in previous books. Her best friend, a priest, adds tons of color to the story and demonstrates the power of friendships. Crosby is a talented writer who knows how to easily move a story forward without getting burdened by excessive dialog or descriptions. Each scene is important but also flies by as you try to understand who is causing things to explode around her. Looking forward to the next one!
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