Book Reviews

Book Reviews

“I am grateful for reviews placed on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other sites. They are very helpful and much appreciated.” –Arleen

Acclaim for Award Winning Darcy Farthing Adventures

A Current Deception–March, 2015

“A Current Deception” by Arleen Alleman is the fifth book in the Darcy Farthing Series. If you have never read anything by Alleman you are in for a thrilling and consuming adventure. Enough back-story is provided to make this a wonderful stand-alone read. If you have read other books in the series then you are going to absolutely love this one. I didn’t think it was possible for the series to get any better… I was wrong. Alleman blends all of the storylines together into one phenomenal and thrilling mystery. The writing style brings you directly into the thick of it. One truly feels a part of the story. You don’t feel as though you are simply being told a story… you are living it. That feeling of reality will be magnified if you have ever been aboard a cruise ship.

I can easily consume a lengthy novel in a day and at a rather swift pace. When reading an Alleman novel I slow way down. Not because it is difficult to read but because I don’t want to miss a single word. You never know when one small comment, thought or knowing look can deepen the mystery or bring you closer to solving it. Believe me when I say you do NOT want to miss a moment. Aside from crafting stories filled with thrills, murder, criminal elements, suspense and mystery Alleman also incorporates lots of historical tidbits and interesting facts about the location of her stories. I learned more about Australia through this work of Fiction than I ever did in World History or Geography.

If I haven’t said this before I’m saying it now… Arleen Alleman is a name to watch. I predict big things will happen for this immensely talented author. –G. Jackson

Five star  Review by Mystery Sequels
Reviews at Ask David  A Current Deception
Review by Phil Jason, Florida Weekly

Alternate Currents

Universal themes that strike a chord.

“Arleen Alleman once again demonstrates her writing talent in a gripping novel filled with suspense and pathos. When spiteful and malicious motives spur a kidnapping, events rapidly spiral out of control. Darcy learns that her friend, Charlie is kidnapped, and her natural instinct is to go help Charlie’s domestic partner, Don, and their adopted 7-year old daughter, Penelope. The idea doesn’t sit well with Darcy’s fiancé, Mick. Based on past experience, he knows Darcy’s habit of “helping” often places her in mortal danger. He’s worried and rightly so. To complicate matters, Darcy and Nick are supposed to be planning a wedding of their own, but the stress of this situation could derail the nuptials.

Don Freeburg, a freelance cartoonist, and Charlie Scott, a commercial realtor, live in an upscale Seattle neighborhood. Unfortunately their domestic partnership recently came under the scrutiny of a religious zealot with a fanatical followers, a group of people who are eager to remove Penelope from their home. To complicate matters, Penelope’s birth mother threatens to legally reverse the adoption. She claims she has a legal right to take custody of her daughter. Although Penelope never met her birth mother, could a judge rip the family apart due to a legal technicality? Ignoring her own personal problems, Darcy travels to Seattle to help and support her friends. As the police investigation into the kidnapping flounders, bodies start turning up. Darcy can’t keep her promise to Mick and starts investigating on her own. It becomes clear that Penelope might have been the original target of the kidnapping, and Darcy fears for the girl’s safety.

Darcy gallantly risks her own life to protect her friends and solve the crime. There are so many twists and turns in the complicated plot that readers are taken on a wild ride. Greed, desire, guilt, and fanaticism embolden several treacherous villains, who lurk in the shadows waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Each culprit has a motive to kill but which one has gone on a killing spree? Can Darcy survive against the menacing culprits who stalk her friends? Will her own relationship with Mick crumble under the strain of a tempestuous separation? Will the wedding that Mick and Darcy planned ever take place? As Darcy learns more about her own character, she considers a new occupation, one that might place her in constant jeopardy. Will Mick support Darcy’s new career choice?

Fans of the Darcy Farthing novels are sure to enjoy this new chapter in her saga. Darcy has become a friend that we enjoy welcoming into our home. We worry about her almost as much as Mick, but we eagerly wait for each new story to be revealed.” –Author Diane Rapp

Current Assets

“I love authors who take their real life experiences and incorporate the knowledge gained from those experiences into their writing, especially those who have worked within the Criminal Justice system or Government agencies. Arleen Alleman has clearly drawn from her time as an analyst with the Government Accountability Office to create this incredible novel. It is so very believable and I appreciate the research it must have required to bring such a thrilling story to life. “Current Assets” is written with such conviction that I’m not certain it is entirely fiction. The story is so well-crafted and plays out with such intrigue and higher level corruption that it could easily be perceived as a true-crime novel. Darcy is an amazing character and written in a way that shows her tremendous intellect, strength and vulnerabilities. I won’t delve deeply into the overall plot as it has been well outlined by other reviewers, but I must say that I really enjoyed the sub-plot involving Darcy’s birth daughter, Rachael. The complexities surrounding Darcy and Rachael almost give the reader two stories in one combined with the overall plot of the book. Mick, Darcy’s boyfriend and co-protagonist, is initially the one who unintentionally brings trouble Darcy’s way through his investigation of corruption and his desire to help a friend who stands accused of attempted murder. As Darcy and Mick work together to help their friend the danger intensifies.

Though I have not read Arleen Alleman’s previous books in this particular series there is enough information and back story provided that this novel alone makes for a fully satisfying read. However, I will be reading the others in the series because I simply must know more about Darcy’s character. This book is exceptionally well-edited. I didn’t notice a single typo or grammatical error. There are no lulls in the story and it was extremely difficult for me to find a stopping point because I couldn’t resist reading just one more chapter which turned into five more before I knew it. The characters and scenes are richly and vividly penned, giving the reader a multi-dimensional view of the people and places that are woven together to create such an incredibly thrilling tale. I truly enjoy books that can make me feel the danger and suspense and “Current Assets” does exactly that. This is a great read for anyone that enjoys mystery, thrillers, crime, high level intrigue, dirty dealings and gritty, intelligent suspense. This is the kind of book that stays with you long after you finish reading the last page (and one I will definitely think about on my next cruise out of Florida).” –G. Jackson

“Arleen wrote another fascinating novel! . . . Alleman brings back familiar characters from the first two novels, making established readers feel like they dropped in for a visit with old friends. We care about these characters, understand their flaws, and hope they work out their complicated relationships. Arleen always does her homework, weaving real facts into a sophisticated narrative, keeping readers on the edge of our chairs until we finish the story. Her new characters are well developed and suspense builds throughout the novel. The plot has plenty of intrigue and adventure, nail biting scenes, and charming descriptions of Marco Island.” –Author, Diane Rapp

‘The newest Darcy Farthing novel is another masterfully written story that led me into an adventure that electrified my pulse, just as the two previous stories had done. My old friends Darcy, Mick, Tom and Rachael are still the engaging front and center characters. Ms Alleman superbly weaves them in and around a riveting and complex tale of danger, with unexpected perilous twists and turns of not only the physical kind but also, the emotional. She skillfully crafts a complex plot involving a GAO investigation of stolen government property, drawing upon her personal experience as a former analyst with U.S. Government Accountability Office.” -Author, Doreen Cox

“If Darcy Farthing read of her [own] adventures, she would certainly say to Arleen “Go girl . . . you really write a great book.” This story is as exciting as the first two novels, and hopefully, a fourth will be coming soon . . .”

“Current Assets holds your interest from page one. Alleman’s precision with every aspect of the book is true talent that takes the reader on a well-crafted plot that includes suspense, romance, and mystery. The South Florida characters, on both sides of the law, are believable with real-life emotion, problems, and desires. Truly a great blend that makes this a terrific must read novel.”

Currents of Vengeance

Spirited Woman selected Currents of Vengeance for their Spring 2012
Top 12 Book Picks

“Currents of Vengeance is the second book in the Darcy Farthing Novel/Mystery Series. The story takes place on the “Sea Nymph” cruise ship as in the previous book. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first Darcy Farthing Novel as the author provides enough back story and delves into the psychological and emotional states of her characters so that this book makes for a great stand-alone story. Darcy and Mick each have their own reasons for returning to the “Sea Nymph”. Darcy is looking for a sense of peace and closure to all that has transpired in the previous months. Mick is hoping to heal from the trauma and investigate and close criminal cases.

I had never given much thought to the legalities of “Criming while Cruising” other than knowing I never wanted to end up at the mercy of a foreign legal system. Criming at sea poses such prosecutorial red tape that bringing criminals to justice can be a daunting task. Jurisdictional issues along with incompetence on the part of foreign investigators can leave many crimes unsolved. Mick hopes to bring a killer to justice with the aid of the former head of cruise security and the FBI in his role as an investigator for the GAO. As Mick struggles to investigate unsolved crimes at sea due to PTSD from his previous near death experience a wave of new revenge based crimes begin. The title of this book is definitely fitting as vengeance for numerous perceived wrongs have deadly consequences. The danger becomes ever more present and Darcy, Mick and Rachael (Darcy’s “lost” daughter with whom she is just beginning to reconnect) are all affected by the currents of vengeance.

As with other books in this series, this isn’t a simple whodunit. Alleman develops characters with their own multiplex of psychological struggles and does an outstanding job making the reader just as vested in the numerous sub-plots as the main storyline. I found “Currents of Vengeance” to be even more emotionally complex than the first book in the series, further endearing me to Darcy, Mick and Rachael.”–G. Jackson

“A visually- and emotionally-rich story of personal greed and desperation . . . set on a cruise ship and in historic South American sea ports. Plots and subplots abound in a delicious blend of fiction and fact with vivid descriptions and compelling characters . . . exciting can’t-put-it-down novel tackling the timely issues of crime and justice in international waters.”

“Alleman’s prose flows effortlessly as she combines mystery, murder, travel, history, and science into a fast moving plot that is totally engaging. One of those books that I was excited to get back to for the unraveling of more suspense . . . and, a “must read” for cruise ship lovers!”

“Alleman’s characters add an interesting element that provides suspense and curiosity from multiple angles. Their antics are so well described I can easily see them in my minds eye.”

“Alleman’s story-telling is brilliant, as is her captivating use of the English language.”

“Alleman took my adventurous spirit for a spine-tingling ride this time with her storyline. She deepened my respect for her story-telling skills by delighting me with historical tidbits as her characters explored the sites of many South American cities. Engrossed, totally caught up in the enigma of the plot, I once again became the main character, Darcy, as she dealt with all manner of frightening events and subterfuge…” –Author Doreen Cox

“Currents of Vengeance is an exciting read . . . an exciting drama combining mystery, revenge and vengeance on a cruise ship . . . Fascinating characters plus a solid plot make this a thought-provoking novel mixed with danger and romance.” –J. Weaver, Books-and-Authors.net

“The author explores the effects of trauma on rational minds and helps readers identify with her characters . . . and explores the issue of cruise ship security and safety. As Americans, we normally feel protected by the laws of our country, but who protects us when we sail in international waters? If a ship runs into a reef or a murder occurs onboard, who is in charge of the investigation? I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a thought-provoking novel filled with danger and romance.” –Author, Diane Rapp.

“A visually- and emotionally-rich story of personal greed and desperation . . . set on a cruise ship and in historic South American sea ports. Plots and subplots abound in a delicious blend of fiction and fact with vivid descriptions and compelling characters . . . exciting can’t-put-it-down novel tackling the timely issues of crime and justice in international waters.”

“Alleman’s prose flows effortlessly as she combines mystery, murder, travel, history, and science into a fast moving plot that is totally engaging. One of those books that I was excited to get back to for the unraveling of more suspense . . . and, a “must read” for cruise ship lovers!”

“ . . . Exciting drama and mystery.Alleman knows how to keep her readers glued to the page. Easy yet interesting reading makes for great entertainment. Might have to schedule my own cruise vacation soon. Highly recommend this book to all novel-lovers . . . Fun, exciting and educational!”

Currents Deep and Deadly

“I love to go on cruises, but would I still look forward to cruising after reading Arleen Alleman’s suspense novel, Currents Deep and Deadly? Alleman weaves an intricate spell showing that cruises aren’t only romance and adventure on the high seas, but intrigue, deception, and sometimes murder as well. She deftly introduces a complex cast of characters, including heroine Darcy Farthing who overhears two men possibly discussing foul play. With Darcy’s new love interest, several murders, and a string of bizarre coincidences, the reader is kept guessing to the end.” –Author, M.B. Tosi.”

“As an author of a cruise ship mystery series, Murder Caribbean-Style, I was intrigued to read this book. The characters are well written, have flaws and self doubts including secrets that the author reveals during the story. The plot is complex but strangely believable . . . when all the puzzle pieces are assembled. The author explores spiritual ideas in the narrative and the characters still have relationship conflicts that are not tied up in a neat bow. I’ll be interested to see how the characters resolve their relationships during the rest of the series.” –Author, Diane Rapp

“Alleman’s ability to tell a story is incredible. Her writing ability in developing such an intricate plot and pulling it off is superb. In the ending, she neatly wraps up all loose ends of the many threads – for this story, that is. The ending is satisfying and stunningly more than expected . . . But then the conclusion is actually fodder for the sequel. With these characters’ lives so entwined, I need to know what happens to them after the ending.” –Author, Mary Deal.

“Great Read – Mystery, Travel, Adventure. Arleen Alleman has done a great job at writing her first novel in Currents Deep and Deadly. With a mix of adventure, mystery, murder, and romance on a luxury cruise ship, the story will not disappoint. Alleman’s character development is superb and her writing style is captivating . . . A great read and I am looking forward to more works by Ms. Alleman.” –BookBuzz

“Characters you care about, plots (and sub-plots) that hold your interest, and descriptions of cruising and island-hopping that make you feel the sun and soft ocean air in your face. What more could you want besides a cold drink and visor? Arleen really has a gift for setting her scenes and evoking the ambiance of a cruise ship, and this excellent first effort could be the start of a new sub-genre of murder mysteries.”

A Luxury Cruise Turns Deadly, by Reader’s Choice

Find adventure, romance, mystery, bizarre interconnected coincidences, brutal murders and a journey of self discovery on a luxury cruise ship in Currents Deep and Deadly. Author Arleen Alleman introduces her main characters with plenty of description and back story while showing the events that brought each on the month-long South American cruise. In the end, the author wraps up the loose ends while nicely setting up the sequel. Arleen Alleman has done her homework. I came away with a clear picture of the shore excursion tour stops thanks to the well researched details of the villages, townspeople, and scenery. Alleman knows her way around a cruise ship as well, cleverly inserting the ship’s specs and dimensions to make me feel as though I was onboard. Darcy is an interesting, realistic protagonist and she has immediate chemistry with Mick as her side-kick love interest.