Category Archives: C. J. Lyons

Review: Farewell To Dreams by C. J. Lyons



If you are a fan of C.J. Lyons, you will not be disappointed, nor surprised at the fast pace of FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A novel of FATAL INSOMNIA. From page one all the way to the end. I gave this story a 5 star ranking because C.J. earned it one word at a time. Being an ER doctor turned author, no one can tell a story of what goes on in an ER better than C.J. Lyons. She uses her knowledge of the stress of life and death decisions and helps us understand the life of an ER doctor.

Lyons story of an ER doctor, Angela Rossi and strange happenings in her ER room. She meets Detective Matthew Ryder as a patient. Ryder is the new detective assigned to work with the Advocacy Center.

The ER and the Advocacy Center is dealing with attacks of young women who have all been tortured and seem to have mental issues. That is part of Angela’s stress. The next area of her stress is the strained relationship with her family. Angela feels the center of her stress is all symptom’s loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and strange feelings in her hands arm. Angela is ignoring the symptoms for now.

We find even the best laid plans sometimes take on a life of their own. ER Doc, Angela Rossi, meets Detective Matthew Ryder, and while she is treating him and talking about the advocacy centers work, an emergency patient arrives on the ER drive entrance. She has multiple gunshots and is not doing well. C.J uses the arrival of the gunshot victim to insert the first major twist in the story.

Lyons explains how Angela has to use her skills and knowledge to save a dying patient. Rossi cracks the patient’s chest and reaches into her chest and is holding the patient’s heart in her hand. As she lifts the heart all of Angela’s symptoms take over, everything seems to stop, Rossi hears the patient talking to her. In addition to telling Rossi, she forgives her for not saving her life, but the patient tells Rossi about a girl who is in danger.

The message (you will have to read the book) stuns Rossi. Rossi comes back to action finding the Detective Ryder helping her with what needs to be done to keep her breathing. Ryder tells Rossi the patient is a nun at the neighborhood Catholic church just three blocks away. When the crash crew arrives, Rossi gets to work. Ryder starts interviewing the EMT and guards to gather details of how the patient arrived at the hospital ER.

Now all of this action takes place in the first couple of chapters of FAREWELL TO DREAMS. C.J. has always kept us on pins and needles, but this story is going to be the talk of the genre of romantic/mystery/thrillers, because it has something for all of us. This murdered nun becomes the stimulus of the investigation. Suspense builds something is not right at the church, the area around the church, the owners of the businesses, the politicians, two major crime families, and designer drugs.

Rossi comes in contact with unsavory people; Ryder effort to understand her, and her ex-husband and her estranged family are suddenly being inserted into Rossi’s life. Lyons does an excellent job of weaving each of Rossi’s strained family relationships into an important part of the story. Everyone that matters to Rossi seems to expect her to fix things.

Ryder is not sure where Rossi is getting her information (Maybe Rossi does not know) but so far she has not been wrong. When he finds out what is going on with Rossi, he is stunned.

While all of these symptoms getting worse, Rossi finally decides to find out what is going on with her health. Lyons does a great job of describing what is going through Rossi’s mind as she goes to see her neurologist. Whatever is causing the problem could be the end of her ER career or not. Her neurologist is a close friend and Rossi knows she will tell her what she needs to know. Rossi’s neurologist explains how Fatal Insomnia might affect her life.

Rossi does not like the tentative answers. Here is where Lyons shows us her writing skills as she takes Angela through much of the drama of bad news but helps her she what she needs to do. You have to read FAREWELL TO DREAMS to know how this fast roller coaster takes the turns, twists, and provides a great surprise ending.

As I have said at the beginning of my review, FAREWELL TO DREAMS is a fast paced medical, romantic, suspense, thriller, a unique fatal illness surfacing, crime families fighting each other, and is true Lyons story of struggle and hope with a great ending. If you are not a fan, you are in for a treat, and I think you will be joining the Lyons fan club.

Everything starts in the ER, and it ends in the ER. I recommend C.J. Lyons, FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A novel of FATAL INSOMNIA as a must read and give it 5 stars.

Review: After Shock by C. J. Lyons



Before I began reading AFTER SHOCK by C.J. Lyons, I knew it would not be a full Lucy Guardino novel. We find more action and suspense in this novella of 111 pages of Lucy’s adventures than anyone will find in many other suspense stories. Lyons uses the flashback concept to walk the reader through the two time lines filled with suspense, unexpected twists and changes to Lucy’s mindset.
At any given time, the readers know Lucy’s point of view on the case she is working and how the time constraints will affect Lucy’s family. We see Lucy’s family at the center of every moment as Lucy shares what she is thinking. Lyons take the reader down the path with Lyons helping readers see Lucy’s focus on her family and her commitment to her job. These two commitments are the foundation of the storyline. AFTER SHOCK involves us from the first sentence on the first page to the last word in the epilogue.
Lyons brings her readers up to speed on the case closed by Lucy in the KILLING ZONE 15 months ago. The result of bringing down the drug cartel helped establish Lucy as head of the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Squad. She established a reputation of facing down the lowlifes bringing them to justice. Lucy’s determination and perseverance helped with her career growth and helped her find more time to spend with her family.
It may have been the job visibility that brought her family life to the attention of some unsavory people. The plot builds suspense and mystery around her family and cases she has wrapped up. Lyons helps readers see Lucy’s family activity as an important part of her day. We see Lucy flashback, as she deals with finding a solution to her problem she visualizes her family gaining strength and determination to keep moving. Lyons gives readers via flashback an understanding of what Lucy has been through and how she deals with the problem.
Not wanting to provide any spoilers with regards to what Lucy is going through, I am certain any reader of Lyons’ AFTER SHOCK, will find suspense, thrills, mystery, and chills running up and down their spine as they read the novel. Fans will find all sorts of excitement as they follow the story to a surprising conclusion.
As I have mentioned, I enjoyed how Lyons tells her story from a fresh point of view made possible by use of the flashback timeline. On every page, we see Lucy Guardino is facing challenges. Lyons reminds her fans our Lucy is strong and has a will to win. It isn’t a coincidence for Lyons to have psyched her fans into looking for and needing action and answers. We turn the last page and find we have lots of questions. Lyons makes it a point to tell us to put her next Lucy Guardino adventure THE HARD FALL on our wish list.
As a longtime Guardino fan, I hope we won’t have to wait long for the release of THE HARD FALL. Some fans will want to hold their breath to see how long they have to wait to find out how Lucy and Nick resolve all the challenges they face. Lucy is fortunate she has a great family, and that is the main reason she will overcome the problems at hand. AFTER SHOCK is Lyons at her best.