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Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement squad. A loving mom and wife, dutiful daughter, consummate professional, and kick-ass federal agent, Lucy is living the perfect life. Until the day she comes up against a predator more vicious and cunning than any she's ever tackled before, one who forces Lucy to choose between the life of the young victim she is fighting to save and her own daughter's....and Lucy's dream life is shattered.


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Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement squad. A loving mom and wife, dutiful daughter, consummate professional, and kick-ass federal agent, Lucy is living the perfect life. Until the day she comes up against a predator more vicious and cunning than any she's ever tackled before, one who forces Lucy to choose between the life of the young victim she is fighting to save and her own daughter's....and Lucy's dream life is shattered.

30 review for Snake Skin

  1. 5 out of 5

    The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    4 stars. Dark subject matter, though it's handled well. Strong likable characters. Likable as characters I mean, not all of of them were "likable." A quick paced story that includes the best parts of suspense, thrillers and action crime novels. Lucy is wonderful. A strong female character who, for a wonderful change, is not looking for love, battling divorce, though she has the normal frustration and fears as anyone about their relationships when things get tough, and, a mother. She comes across 4 stars. Dark subject matter, though it's handled well. Strong likable characters. Likable as characters I mean, not all of of them were "likable." A quick paced story that includes the best parts of suspense, thrillers and action crime novels. Lucy is wonderful. A strong female character who, for a wonderful change, is not looking for love, battling divorce, though she has the normal frustration and fears as anyone about their relationships when things get tough, and, a mother. She comes across as a strong leader, savvy operative, and intelligent cop (FBI). At first I thought she was a little too neurotic and way over protective with her family. Yet, at other times I saw Lucy like many protagonists in crime novels, just as crazy and fanatic as the serial twisted people she stalked. The difference being the side of good, right and the law that that she chose as "her side" helped her use her powers for good. I eventually grew to like the duality that existed inside her, well okay, make that tri-ality. As a cop she connected with victims almost like an advocate and went after the bad guys with an almost paladin like zeal. She took chances, pushed boundaries and had all sorts of mind games going on in her head to keep her focused and alert. On the other hand, she took chances with herself, and pushed boundaries to make sure she caught the bad guy, but she was very methodical and observant, not only of witnesses and crime scenes but also the other members of her team. SHe made a savvy leader who motivated her team and studied them almost as much as she did the suspects. On the other-other hand, she turned out to be a neurotic, over-protective mother with a 12 year old and a mutually devoted husband at home. She struggled with guilt for not being there for her daughter and tried to make up for it aggressively inserting herself even though she knew better. I could really identify with being able to keep your cool at work, and struggle to keep your foot out of your moth at home. She also had a wonderful relationship with her husband, the one character that might be "too good." (view spoiler)[ It was refreshing to read a story about a sexy female Crime Fighter, who throws 150% of herself into her job, that wasn't having "love life" issues with the dating game, battling a biological clock or struggling with divorce. We got a good look at how much Lucy needed Nick, and we can only guess at how much he needed her. (hide spoiler)] THe bottom line is that this was a wonderful read, fun, and exciting. I give it 3.5 stars. I liked the characters and development of their relationship with each other in the story. The "who-done-it" side of things could have presented more of a challenge to figure out, but the book made up for it by having a hard to catch killer and some sub-plots that were interesting themselves. I forgave some of the transparent plot devices because I was enjoying the read, liked Lucy and was hooked after the first scene. Complex characters, a plus, simple, transparent plot, kind of neutral to less of a plus. There were times when the mushyness between Nick and Lucy became almost sickeningly sweet, but it made a good contrast to Burough's torrid affair that was rather sick and twisted. In the long run it also helped balance Lucy out too. I also gave the benifit of the doubt on the "out of the blue" thoughts and over gender bias. They didn't seem to come naturally, but, it served as a good reminder of what she was up against at work and how skillfully she approached her job. The thoughts may have seemed out of place in the moment they came up, they were likely too few and far between for a woman as strong as Lucy in the same position. Maybe the biggest plus was the delicate hand the author used to navigate a story about crime fighters looking for predators that prey on children. We got enough details to be aware of the difficult subject matter, but not so much that it made it hard to read or had me afraid to turn the page for what I might read. Warning - This is a book about a Female FBI agent who tracks down people who pray on children. I think Lyons got the balance right between giving too many details and not giving enough. Having said that, this is difficult and unsettling subject matter. I may think it's managed in a way that keeps it palatable, but, I'd be foolish not to warn you. The story also has some other risque twists of a sexual nature. Again, I think they are well handled, but, it would be foolish of me not to warn that they are their. I'm reasonably thick headed and hard o offend. There is sexual talk, and some sexual situations in this story. Over all I'm recommending it for mature adults (meaning state of mind, not actual age). I think Lyons handled it well enough that if the book fell into the hands of high school age readers, it wouldn't cause damage. It's just not something a non-parent should recommend to someone else's kids. Check it out yourself before you buy it for your high school age son or daughter. Warning, there is some romance in this book. It should not, by any means, be considered a "romance" novel. If you don't like the mushy love stuff, you'll have trouble avoiding it here. I happen to like it. Bottom line- Good read, 3.5 stars. A bit light on complexity and the who-done-it side of things, but it makes up for it with fun action scenes, lots of suspense and strong characters. I look foreward to the next one of the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    As someone with severe ophiophobia, I was hesitant to even begin reading C.J. Lyons’ FBI thriller,Snake Skin. My fears were realized. Over and over and over. Too. Many. Snakes. Despite my feeling that the author went way overboard with the reptile scenes, (which went on for many paragraphs, and I skipped over all of them) the rest of the book is actually very good. Readers can view the blurb for themselves to get the gist of the plot, so I won’t give anything away here. There is plenty of danger As someone with severe ophiophobia, I was hesitant to even begin reading C.J. Lyons’ FBI thriller,Snake Skin. My fears were realized. Over and over and over. Too. Many. Snakes. Despite my feeling that the author went way overboard with the reptile scenes, (which went on for many paragraphs, and I skipped over all of them) the rest of the book is actually very good. Readers can view the blurb for themselves to get the gist of the plot, so I won’t give anything away here. There is plenty of danger involved when FBI Supervisor Special Agent Lucille Teresa Guardino – Lucy – heads up the Pittsburg area’s Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Squad. The predators she encounters in her job with SAFE are truly venomous, and Lucy frequently sacrifices time with her husband Nick and 12-year-old daughter Megan. Husband Nick, a psychologist, frequently tells her that she is unrealistically trying to save every child. When Ashley Yeager disappears, “LuLu” becomes almost obsessed with bringing her home safely. The characterization in this book is well done, for the most part. While I appreciated Guardino’s dedication to her job, she almost comes across as a superwoman. She is supposed to be a supervisor, but she is so hands-on that she is seldom home. Even when Megan is sick and hospitalized with an unknown illness, her FBI mom is out looking for the bad guy. I wanted to scream at her to let the other agents and the Pittsburg cop, Burroughs, take over so she could just go be with her daughter. The marital and family scenes seemed so true-to-life. I felt that Lyons really nailed these. Megan came across as a typical almost-teenager. Burroughs and the TV reporter, Cindy Ames, added some crazy drama to the story that seemed a bit over-the-top. I wasn’t sure whether to like Burroughs or not; both characters seemed stereotyped. On the serious side, there are a couple of scenes where the SAFE team confronts pedophiles, and the author does show this as an important issue. I also like the sensitivity she portrays regarding the self-image of teens who are perceived as different, struggle to fit in, are bullied, or have problems at home. C.J. Lyons manages to pack a powerful punch with this first book in her Lucy Guardino series. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to skip the snake scenes. 3.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nurse Lisa In Ohio (PRN Book Reviews)

    What a great book! Looking forward to the rest of the series for sure! Binge read potential, lol. Absolutely FANTABULOUS!!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    A Review of C J Lyons Snake Skin: A Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers, Book #1 by Anthony T. Riggio I just finished reading this book and let me begin with an uncharacteristic expression in my reviews of books I have read recently, to wit, “Wow”! This book was so fast paced and the story line wrapped me up into a tight package. My wife asked me what can keep you so occupied that everything I was supposed to do was left neglected and undone. I told her I discovered an author as capable as James Patterso A Review of C J Lyons Snake Skin: A Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers, Book #1 by Anthony T. Riggio I just finished reading this book and let me begin with an uncharacteristic expression in my reviews of books I have read recently, to wit, “Wow”! This book was so fast paced and the story line wrapped me up into a tight package. My wife asked me what can keep you so occupied that everything I was supposed to do was left neglected and undone. I told her I discovered an author as capable as James Patterson, when he first started out. CJ Lyons is a stunning writer and will have the reader at the edge of his/her seat, turning pages, sometimes too fast that the reader is left breathless. As a retired FBI Agent, who has worked and supervised many complex cases, but never worked the innocent image’s type cases, though I am familiar with some agents who have done so. I found CJ Lyons descriptions of FBI procedures and responsibilities sometimes inaccurate; they were, however, good enough for the average reader and did no damage to the excellent story line. I did like that Lyons did not portray the FBI as the case “grabbing” agency as so many authors erroneously portray them. This was a fast read and I will definitely read other books by CJ Lyons though it may be a while since I already have too many books on my intended list. I read the Kindle version of this book which I purchased on Amazon and gave it a five star rating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daleen Berry

    I was on the last leg of a 600-mile car trip (with a lot of books on my iPad) when I began reading Snakeskin in early November. Initially, I wasn't sure I would like it and to be perfectly candid, I wouldn't have purchased it based on the title alone—because Snakeskin didn't tell me anything about the book. Plus, I don't read thrillers, because they normally contain too much blood and gore, profanity and/or sex for me. All of the above, though, say more about me than they do about the book itsel I was on the last leg of a 600-mile car trip (with a lot of books on my iPad) when I began reading Snakeskin in early November. Initially, I wasn't sure I would like it and to be perfectly candid, I wouldn't have purchased it based on the title alone—because Snakeskin didn't tell me anything about the book. Plus, I don't read thrillers, because they normally contain too much blood and gore, profanity and/or sex for me. All of the above, though, say more about me than they do about the book itself or even the author. I had seen C.J. Lyons' books everywhere, so I was familiar with her name and knew she had to be a popular author. But it wasn't until I heard another reader say that Lyons' Lucy books don't have all the usual violence and sex other thrillers do, that I actually bought one for myself. And now I happily count myself among her growing "I love Lucy" fan club. The main character Lucy Guardino must be based on real-life FBI agents, because I've worked with some of them and Lucy reminds me of the agents I know. So this character rings true. But even more important, she's just like me: she struggles with the demands of work and home, and home and work. Of being a wife, a parent, an employee. She doesn't do any of it perfectly, but she tries really, really hard—probably like we all do. That Lucy just so happens to go after criminals who hurt children makes her all the better in my book. We could have many more people like her in the real world, and it wouldn't be near enough. Sadly, the real world doesn't offer the same outcome Snakeskin does, but in getting the bad guy, that makes Lucy a strong protagonist and a hero to me. Lyons is a very convincing writer, and her writing does an excellent job of showing the actual damage done by people who prey on children. And as it turns out, Snakeskin is the perfect title for this book. When I arrived home from my trip, I was about two-thirds through the book, so when I couldn't sleep that night I stayed up for at least two hours to finish reading it. (That's another thing Lyons has going for her: she kept me turning the pages. Not a small feat, let me tell you.) Now I can't wait to read the next one in the series—and would have before now, if I wasn't trying to wade through the big pile I'm trying to conquer. Both on my nightstand and on my iPad. Yep, count me in: I do love Lucy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jo Ann Reinhold

    Wow, what can I say? As soon as I finished I had to grab the next book and start reading! C.J. Lyons is such a wonderful story teller and creates characters that are compelling! The story was fast paced dealing with subject matter that is so intense but again C.J. handles it so well! Each character fleshed out to feel so real with both good an bad qualities, strengths and weaknesses, characteristics that make them so human! In this first book we meet Lucy, mother, wife and FBI Special Supervisory Wow, what can I say? As soon as I finished I had to grab the next book and start reading! C.J. Lyons is such a wonderful story teller and creates characters that are compelling! The story was fast paced dealing with subject matter that is so intense but again C.J. handles it so well! Each character fleshed out to feel so real with both good an bad qualities, strengths and weaknesses, characteristics that make them so human! In this first book we meet Lucy, mother, wife and FBI Special Supervisory Agent who has to balance the demands of her job with the need to keep her family safe from the horrors she sees. All I can say is Great Job C.J. Lyons!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Another new-to-me author. Took no time at all to adjust to this author's writing. A great read right from the start, lots of action, good detective work and a very irritating reporter makes this book worth reading. A couple of different cases take place all while the main case takes shape. Special Supervisory FBI Agent, Lucy Guardino, is a no nonsense agent with a big heart and very likeable. The title is aptly named - lots of encounters with snakes in this book! I really enjoyed this book and hig Another new-to-me author. Took no time at all to adjust to this author's writing. A great read right from the start, lots of action, good detective work and a very irritating reporter makes this book worth reading. A couple of different cases take place all while the main case takes shape. Special Supervisory FBI Agent, Lucy Guardino, is a no nonsense agent with a big heart and very likeable. The title is aptly named - lots of encounters with snakes in this book! I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone that likes a good murder mystery with lots of action - you know, stuff blowing up, etc.! 4.5 stars and 2 thumbs up!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    This was an okay crime drama novel...nothing fantastic though. I enjoyed the beginning, but as it progressed I really just found myself wishing it would hurry and end. I liked the first half of the book better; interesting, well-written, suspenseful...but the second half just seemed soap-opera-ish, overdramatic, and unrealistic. :/ ...I mean really, a horde of snakes twice in one day? And a narcissist psychopath who is willing to bomb the hospital?...which doesn't even make sense, because narcis This was an okay crime drama novel...nothing fantastic though. I enjoyed the beginning, but as it progressed I really just found myself wishing it would hurry and end. I liked the first half of the book better; interesting, well-written, suspenseful...but the second half just seemed soap-opera-ish, overdramatic, and unrealistic. :/ ...I mean really, a horde of snakes twice in one day? And a narcissist psychopath who is willing to bomb the hospital?...which doesn't even make sense, because narcissists are selfish egotists and what selfish ego-maniac person walks around with a bomb?

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.F. Penn

    Full video review here http://mysterythriller.tv/snakeskin-b... CJ Lyons writes “thrillers with heart” and loves to involve the reader in the life of the protagonist, how the job affects them and how their family life is affected. In Snakeskin, we see Lucy Guardino who is a FBI agent working against child crime and child abuse. I spoke to CJ Lyons and she did spend time with the FBI for her research. This is a very hard area to work in. CJ also works in pediatrics so the topic is close to her hea Full video review here http://mysterythriller.tv/snakeskin-b... CJ Lyons writes “thrillers with heart” and loves to involve the reader in the life of the protagonist, how the job affects them and how their family life is affected. In Snakeskin, we see Lucy Guardino who is a FBI agent working against child crime and child abuse. I spoke to CJ Lyons and she did spend time with the FBI for her research. This is a very hard area to work in. CJ also works in pediatrics so the topic is close to her heart. As the book opens, we see Lucy basically trapping child abusers by posing as a woman offering her child for “playtime”. I don’t like child abuse themes but this is from another angle – from the rescuers point of view and it;s not graphic and it doesn’t happen. The child Lucy has in her van is a dummy and before they know it, the men are arrested but not before Lucy gets into some trouble. The snake theme starts very soon into the book with some obsessed religious nuts, and continues later. So on one hand, we see Lucy working away at her job trapping paedophiles and then we have the main thrust of the story which is the abduction and search for fourteen year old Ashley. There are scenes written from Ashley’s perspective as she is brainwashed into believing her abductor is actually rescuing her from an increasingly horrific situation. In one of the most harrowing scenes, Ashley is covered in snakes, bitten and catatonic with fear as snakes are her phobia. Not for the faint-hearted! The villain’s mother is a great addition to the plot, we can almost understand Jim’s psychoses and she manipulates her way to her final end. I liked that character portrayal, even though she only makes a cameo appearance. I also liked the TV reporter – who’s a bimbo, driven by sex, power and fame from what we can read. I liked the balance between the females characters – as in, they are not all heroic or martyr-like, they are complex and balanced. Definitely keeps the book real and away from stereotypes. With Lucy, we also see behind the scenes in her relationship with her husband Nick and daughter Megan who become entangled in the story. We see how Lucy juggles her family life and the awful job she has to do. She wants to save all the abused children but her own daughter also needs her when she’s admitted to hospital with alarming symptoms. We can feel her being torn between being a great agent and a great parent, trying to balance her time between the case and her family. Fast-paced, with a count-down based on the timeline of Ashley’s abduction but still with characters you can feel for and like, Snakeskin is part crime, part thriller with a strong female protagonist.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pat aka Tygyr

    This book was the 1st book in a bundle entitled - "Adrenaline Rush: 7 High-Octane Thrillers". Ashley is a teen, unloved daughter of divorced parents, smart, makes a friend on-line named Bobby. They agree to meet and run away together. Only it isn't Bobby that meets her, drugs her, ties her up in a dark, smelly barn, where he can watch her from the safety of cyber space as he works at breaking her. Lucy works for the FBI and is offered a job advancement requiring her family to move. Her husband Nic This book was the 1st book in a bundle entitled - "Adrenaline Rush: 7 High-Octane Thrillers". Ashley is a teen, unloved daughter of divorced parents, smart, makes a friend on-line named Bobby. They agree to meet and run away together. Only it isn't Bobby that meets her, drugs her, ties her up in a dark, smelly barn, where he can watch her from the safety of cyber space as he works at breaking her. Lucy works for the FBI and is offered a job advancement requiring her family to move. Her husband Nick is a psychiatrist and he agrees to start a new practice and they know money may be tight for awhile. Their daughter Megan is not as happy to leave her school and friends behind. At the new city she gets involved in soccer and loves it. But she gets sick and is mad her parents won't let her play any way. Megan ends up in the hospital undergoing lots of tests. Lucy heads up a taskforce tracking down child porn offenders. With Lucy's busy job and Nick starting a new business, they both are doing their best to spend time at the hospital with Megan. On one of Lucy's cases, they find Ashley and she is in very bad shape physically and emotionally. She is put in the same hospital as Megan and just down the hall. With a rabid reporter and other bad guys after Lucy and Ashley can Lucy keep both girls safe? Will she be forced to choose one or the other? Who is feeding info to the reporter? What is wrong with Megan? Is Ashley too badly damaged from her parents and her abduction to ever live a normal life? This was a fast paced book and I have only touched on what I judged were the main story lines. If you like thrillers I recommend this book which is the 1st in a Lucy Guardino FBI Thriller series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    Wow. That one word pretty much says it all. With the opening page, C.J. grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until the last page. Snake Skin is definitely one of the best suspense novels I’ve read. Lucy Guardino is a typical soccer mom, except that, as an F.B.I. agent, she carries a gun and hunts down vicious perverts who go after children. In this book, she’s up against one of the worst she’s ever faced. Faced with the threat to her own daughter, Lucy does what is necessary, even if it mea Wow. That one word pretty much says it all. With the opening page, C.J. grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until the last page. Snake Skin is definitely one of the best suspense novels I’ve read. Lucy Guardino is a typical soccer mom, except that, as an F.B.I. agent, she carries a gun and hunts down vicious perverts who go after children. In this book, she’s up against one of the worst she’s ever faced. Faced with the threat to her own daughter, Lucy does what is necessary, even if it means she might not make it through. Unlike most thrillers, this one has a female protagonist, but it completely works. Lyons skill with characterizations shows as she makes Lucy strong, but also vulnerable. We believe she can be a mom, a wife, and a kick-ass agent all wrapped up in one neat package. The thrilling plot keeps you turning the pages as the suspense keeps building. Just when you think it’s over, she throws in another twist. This is a fast-paced read that will appeal to anyone who loves thrillers. Definitely recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Curtis

    This year has been so slow for me with reading. Life just seems to get busy. I have defo found myself a new author and will be reading the rest of this series. I really love FBI agent Lucy. From the first chapter it had me gripped. I highly recommend this book specially if your a fan of Angela marsons

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elvan

    Loved it, creepy snakes and all. I like Guardino's humanity. She is not some cardboard FBI cutout. She's not perfect but she is determined to help the helpless, often at the expense of time spent with her family. The case while interesting is secondary to the detailed portrayals of Guardino, her family and her coworkers. Looking forward to reading more books by this author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra Webb

    Very edgy read! I love everything CJ Lyons does! The kindle version is free this weekend! A good time to check out CJ if you haven't read her before!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    Review originally posted at Tea, Toast & Books. In Brief: Ashley is a disturbed teenager, trying to escape her current life — but she ends up being abducted. Can Lucy Guardino, FBI agent and loving wife and mother, solve the crime in time to save Ashley? I thought: Within the first 20 pages, I found this book a bit disturbing. (NB: I don’t usually read thriller-type mysteries.) It’s violent, and features kidnapping, vulnerable and abused children, corrupt cops, sexual objectification, and plenty o Review originally posted at Tea, Toast & Books. In Brief: Ashley is a disturbed teenager, trying to escape her current life — but she ends up being abducted. Can Lucy Guardino, FBI agent and loving wife and mother, solve the crime in time to save Ashley? I thought: Within the first 20 pages, I found this book a bit disturbing. (NB: I don’t usually read thriller-type mysteries.) It’s violent, and features kidnapping, vulnerable and abused children, corrupt cops, sexual objectification, and plenty of swearing. It felt at times a little like the author had a checklist goal to meet. Lucy read, to me, like a bit of a sterotype: Overworked law enforcement parent ignores her own child to protect others, believing that in doing so she can save both the victims and her own daughter. See also: Law & Order: SVU, Body of Proof, &c. &c. I was, however, glad that her relationship with her husband seemed to be loving, stable and mature. Her daughter was a typical (as depicted in fiction, at least) whiny pre-adolescent, trying to distance herself from Mom. We also have the overly nerdy nerd tech guy, the divorced cop who can’t keep it in his pants, the obnoxious journalist — none of the characters, to me, read as being terribly real. The plot, though, moved at a brisk clip and I was obviously interested enough to finish it, even though I wasn’t loving the characters. From the very first page, the suspense is there, and it never really lets up. The villains are seriously depraved. There were times when I found myself skipping over some of the more graphic descriptions of events; maybe I’m a wimp. (I also avert my eyes during similar moments on the TV. Usually.) Everything reaches a satisfactory conclusion, although it seemed to wrap up a bit too quickly. Since I live in Pittsburgh, I of course have to comment on the representation of our neighborhoods. It was pretty decently done, although West Homestead isn’t really part of the South Side, Murray and Negley don’t connect (they run parallel!) and — potential spoiler! — if you blew up a house in Lawrenceville you’d take out at least two other houses since they’re packed in there like sardines. I actually picked this up because I was hoping for a more Pittsburgh-y experience, but while many locations are mentioned, none of it really felt integral to the story. The Kindle edition needs to be hit with the editing stick; lots of “the worse” instead of “the worst,” along with other slight annoyances that make the work feel unpolished. Also, I think the description of what Lyons refers to as “MRPGs” is a bit… well, uninformed. MMORPGs aren’t generally controlled by a single DM, at least, not the fully rendered ones. It’s like the author just transferred pen-and-paper RPGs into “cyberspace” and decided that’s how things were. That kept throwing me out of the suspension of disbelief. In the end, I just had to know what happened, but it’s not a story that’s going to stick with me, nor am I especially compelled to seek out Lyons’s other work. Perhaps, though, I should emphasize again that this is not a genre I normally read, so you may take my review with a grain of salt.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne Campbell

    I just finished the first book in the Lucy Guardino/FBI Thriller Series by C.J.Lyons. Breathless! It was amazing read and a huge improvement over some of the not so great books I've been reading lately. Lucy Guardino is a wife, mother, and FBI agent who just happens to have broken the glass ceiling without giving up her morals to do it. I love her character. She struggles with all of the same worries and concerns most working mothers deal with. Her job just happens to involve carrying a gun and I just finished the first book in the Lucy Guardino/FBI Thriller Series by C.J.Lyons. Breathless! It was amazing read and a huge improvement over some of the not so great books I've been reading lately. Lucy Guardino is a wife, mother, and FBI agent who just happens to have broken the glass ceiling without giving up her morals to do it. I love her character. She struggles with all of the same worries and concerns most working mothers deal with. Her job just happens to involve carrying a gun and tracking down bad guys that make your skin crawl. She is a strong woman, and a force to be reckoned with in a predominantly male field and yet she is respected. It struck me funny that she could handle the sick perverts, big, strong, opinionated FBI agents as well as other law enforcement personnel and yet she is completely baffled by her pre-adolescent daughter. Her husband has sacrificed a huge career move so Lucy can persue her own career. He is a Therapist and it would seem he spends a great deal of his time keeping Lucy centered and caring for their daughter. They juggle schedules just like the rest of us, they have small squabbles, they make up and love each other completely. You are going to love this family first. Then you're going to love the rest of the characters and the edge of your seat, tension filled, thriller story that somehow blends seamlessly together. I'm not easily impressed but this book really kept me captured to the very last page. Oh, by the way, it's called Snake Skin for a reason. If you have a horrific fear of snakes - this is not the book for you! I can hardly wait to read the second book in the series!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book grabbed me from the very beginning! Although I had read all of the Angels of Mercy series by the author, this was the first one of the Lucy Guardino books. Now I cannot wait to read more. Lucy and her family are very likable characters. Snake Skin was filled with suspense and I found it to be a fast paced thriller that was hard to put down! C.J. Lyons has managed to get me hooked on another of her series!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Wow Wow Wow what a read i absolutely loved this book CJ Lyons well done Lucy Guardino is one strong character full of oomph & wont back down all the characters were strong & set up the story well. Even bought no 2 straight away so would recommend this for anyone who likes a fast paced story. Wow Wow Wow what a read i absolutely loved this book CJ Lyons well done Lucy Guardino is one strong character full of oomph & wont back down all the characters were strong & set up the story well. Even bought no 2 straight away so would recommend this for anyone who likes a fast paced story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    I've had C.J. Lyon's books on my TBR list for quite a while and finally have read the 1st in this series. It was a fast paced, heart pumping at times solid read. Great characters that are real with flaws. The unit that Lucy Guardino runs hunts down the scum of the earth that pray on children and young adults, so as gratifying as that work may be she still has to see and deal with all the depravity. In lieu of this she has a strong family unit (which is a nice change). Because of the hours she pu I've had C.J. Lyon's books on my TBR list for quite a while and finally have read the 1st in this series. It was a fast paced, heart pumping at times solid read. Great characters that are real with flaws. The unit that Lucy Guardino runs hunts down the scum of the earth that pray on children and young adults, so as gratifying as that work may be she still has to see and deal with all the depravity. In lieu of this she has a strong family unit (which is a nice change). Because of the hours she puts in that's a hard thing to keep together but having the husband she has helps a lot in this situation. Looking forward to the next in series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Martin Pingree

    This as a load of fun to read. One of those I couldn’t put down. Great characters with lots of action and a great story line. Female FBI agent and her team take on a missing girl case which turns into a massive interdepartmental nightmare.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth Lechman

    Fast pced suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

    Pretty good thriller.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Injoy

    I received a free kindle copy of Snake Skin by C.J. Lyons in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.This started off with a sharp hook. I gave it five stars. It is an intense, suspense-filled thriller that kept me turning pages. Ashley describes her reasons for cutting & her trophies, won with success. "She carefully rolled her sleeve back, exposing the other trophies her control had won. Each scar a triumph. Each scar a time she hadn't run screaming out into the night or throw herself I received a free kindle copy of Snake Skin by C.J. Lyons in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.This started off with a sharp hook. I gave it five stars. It is an intense, suspense-filled thriller that kept me turning pages. Ashley describes her reasons for cutting & her trophies, won with success. "She carefully rolled her sleeve back, exposing the other trophies her control had won. Each scar a triumph. Each scar a time she hadn't run screaming out into the night or throw herself in front of a bus or jumped off a bridge. Each scar reminding her that she could win that she mattered, that somewhere inside this cold numb husk, she was alive. "Supervisory Special Agent Lucy Guardino is a strong, positive woman working for the S.A.F.E. section of the FBI. That is the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement squad. She's been with the job for three months. She had been undercover & barely had time to change clothes to move directly into a kidnapping situation. She's balancing her difficult job with her twelve year old daughter, Megan who is in the: "Mom!" stage. I'm not a baby." Nick her husband, shares parenting duties but Megan needed to go to the doctor with strep throat. Lucy & Nick hadn't seen much of each other for the months it has taken to set up the newest S.A.F.E Unit. Needed by Lucy in the next case is: "Tact, diplomacy, team building—-she needed these men as much as they needed her. Not to mention a missing fourteen-year-old girl who should be home right now listening to bubble-gum pop rock and painting her toenails. Or whatever Ashley Yeager did to amuse herself in the large, looming house that reminded Lucy of San Quentin." There are many jurisdictions & massive egos intersected in this case. The question about what is happening brings different responses as to whether it is a kidnapping or runaway girl. Jimmy is caring for his aging manipulative mother in a nursing home. He wants to know more about his father but she withholds that information. He plays an important role in this story. "Nick’s voice was calm, reassuring. One of the few things she hated about her husband. She could project calm, take control over chaos no matter the crisis, but dammit, he really was calm. Like some kind of Southern-Irish-Zen Master." "In Lucy’s experience, shock and fear brought out the worst in people— including the need some people had to center the drama on themselves rather than the true victims. "Lucy is talking to Melissa, Ashley's mother & discovers that she has an 'old friend'. "Did Ashley know Jon?  Melissa gave a shrug & slouched--totally out of character for the perfect-postured fashion model image she'd portrayed earlier. 'No. Ashley didn't like Jon.....If it was true, if Jon Tardiff had a thing for girls, then Melissa was living every mother's worst nightmare. The thing you never thought about--for fear that if you did, even for a second, you might be inviting the monster into your home." Perhaps he had kidnapped Ashley. "Guilt settled down on Lucy's shoulders like a worn out shawl. Make that a hand-crocheted, labor of love, fingers bleeding from being pricked & worked to the bone worn out shawl. "Megan fainted in church & was transferred to the hospital via ambulance. Lucy found out with a voice mail from Nick. She rushed to the hospital. After she'd vomited in the restroom. "Megan's laughter carried from her room two doors down as Lucy emerged from the restroom, still shaky. It was the sweetest sound Lucy had ever heard. She closed her eyes, listening hard, imprinting the sound on her memory. A gift to be unwrapped later. "Cindy Ames, a television reporter had taken photos of Lucy's family after she'd been warned. To keep her from publishing them, they worked out a deal so she had an 'exclusive' opening into the investigation searching for Ashley. Lucy was not pleased. "Ames shrugged, her expression conveying contempt for Lucy's idealism. 'Way of the world. If it bleeds, it leads.'" Highly recommended suspense reading. CJ Lyons is an impressive author!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Frank De Vivo

    Great read The FBI agent is one tough cookie. From snake bites to shrapnel she will make you wish you were as tough as she is. Enjoyed the book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jon Borah

    5.0 out of 5 stars Great FBI Story: "Very well researched with most details spot on. It is a compelling story. The characters were real, to the point of reminding me of an agent, who, was every bit as dedicated, smart, and fearless as Lucy Guardino. I highly recommend it." Mark B. Lewis, Former FBI Special Agent Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, L 5.0 out of 5 stars Great FBI Story: "Very well researched with most details spot on. It is a compelling story. The characters were real, to the point of reminding me of an agent, who, was every bit as dedicated, smart, and fearless as Lucy Guardino. I highly recommend it." Mark B. Lewis, Former FBI Special Agent Just your average Pittsburgh soccer mom, baking brownies and carrying a loaded forty-caliber Glock... Lucille Teresa Guardino. A woman of many identities. Lucille to her doting mother, Lulu to her devoted husband, Mom to her pre-teen daughter, Lucy to her friends, LT to her co-workers, and Supervisory Special Agent Guardino to the criminals she captures for the FBI's Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement squad. A loving mom and wife, dutiful daughter, consummate professional, and kick-ass federal agent, Lucy is living the perfect life. Until the day she comes up against a predator more vicious and cunning than any she's ever tackled before, one who forces Lucy to choose between the life of the young victim she is fighting to save and her own daughter's....and Lucy's dream life is shattered. 4 1/2 Stars, RT Book Reviews: "Combine Dirty Harry with a loving wife and mother and you might end up with Lucy Guardino. Fans of Lyons' hospital-set series will love the change of setting and thrilling pace. One note: readers with a fear of snakes should pick up this story carefully. Regardless, you won't be able to put this one down." WARNING: the Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers are NOT for the faint of heart! They depict adult situations, realistic violence with consequences, and delve deep into the darkness of the human heart and mind. You asked for "More Lucy, Please!" You got it! The sequels, BLOOD STAINED and KILL ZONE, are now available. Praise for CJ Lyons and her bestselling Thrillers with Heart: "Everything a great thriller should be--action packed, authentic, and intense." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child "Compelling...I love how the characters come alive on every page." --New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver "A pulse-pounding adrenaline rush."--Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author "The perfect blend of romance and suspense. My kind of read."--Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author "A high-stakes adventure with dire consequences."--Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author "Packed with adrenaline."--David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author "Tense, whip-smart medical scenes ... gripping."--Tess Gerritson, New York Times bestselling author "Harrowing, emotional, action-packed and brilliantly realized ... an irresistible read."--Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author "Exciting ... engrossing, intriguing."--Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author "An adrenaline rush and an all-around great read."--Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author "Breathtakingly fast-paced."--Publishers Weekly "Delves deep into the human soul." RT Book Reviews

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynnette Phillips

    Author CJ Lyons shows her command of the craft in Snake Skin, the story of Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI Lucy Guardino heads the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Squad/Crimes Against Children (SAFES/CAC) detail in Pittsburgh. Published by Create Space and released January 19, 2011, Snake Skin shows an artist at her best. The characters are detailed and rooted in reality, the plot tense, gripping and rapidly paced. Lucia Theresa Guardino was recently promoted and moved her family from Vir Author CJ Lyons shows her command of the craft in Snake Skin, the story of Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI Lucy Guardino heads the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Squad/Crimes Against Children (SAFES/CAC) detail in Pittsburgh. Published by Create Space and released January 19, 2011, Snake Skin shows an artist at her best. The characters are detailed and rooted in reality, the plot tense, gripping and rapidly paced. Lucia Theresa Guardino was recently promoted and moved her family from Virginia to Pittsburgh. As if the stress of her job and the efforts of trying to insulate her family from the realities of her what she does and sees everyday aren’t enough her daughter, Megan, 12, doesn’t plan to let her Mom off easy for uprooting her and making her leave her home and friends. Ahh, but then there’s her handsome patient husband psychologist Nick Callahan who is never knocked off his stride. Lucy’s newest investigation is the disappearance of 14 year old Ashley Yeager from the home she shares with her image conscious divorced mother. She understands the Ashley would want to leave a life where you felt like a stranger to your own cold parents—they don’t know anything about her life they’re so self-centered. But did she leave of her own accord or was she forced? As Lucy traces Ashley’s steps and activities for clues she also must deal with feeling like a stranger to her own family, much like Ashley must, a ruthless and devious reporter who will go to any lengths to get her story and the local law enforcement agencies who want to be in the spotlight as much as they want to solve the case. CJ Lyons, as a pediatric ER doctor, has aided police and prosecutors with cases of child abuse, rape and homicide and acted as a crisis counselor and victim advocate. Ms. Lyons first novel, the award winning LIFELINES became a National Bestseller as well as being the first in her Angels of Mercy series. Her award-winning, critically acclaimed Angels of Mercy series (LIFELINES, WARNING SIGNS, URGENT CARE, and CRITICAL CONDITION) is available in stores now. Currently she’s working on a suspense series coauthored with Erin Brockovich. To learn more about CJ and her work, go to www.cjlyons.net Review by Lynnette Phillips, Avid Book Reviews

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Freund

    I met CJ Lyons a year ago and knew I wanted to discover her fiction. She has such loyal reader fans, I expected to enjoy her writing, even if thriller isn't normally my first choice genre. I normally go for slower action and subtleties of relationship and family dynamics. I normally read literary. But my friend Meg Gardiner writers thrillers that include all my favorite things along with a female protagonist and fast-action thrill on every page, so I've been intrigued by this genre for a while. I met CJ Lyons a year ago and knew I wanted to discover her fiction. She has such loyal reader fans, I expected to enjoy her writing, even if thriller isn't normally my first choice genre. I normally go for slower action and subtleties of relationship and family dynamics. I normally read literary. But my friend Meg Gardiner writers thrillers that include all my favorite things along with a female protagonist and fast-action thrill on every page, so I've been intrigued by this genre for a while. And HER friend CJ Lyons does this too -- with a fantastic added focus on medical issues, both mental health and physical. (And lack thereof -- it's a thriller so there are plenty of injuries, guns, bombs, metal, glass, cars, and chaos. No gratuitous gore, but some very memorable yuck and horror). Lyons draws on her background as a practicing physician for 17 years and artfully weaves in very real issues in medicine without ever being heavy-handed. And I have to say Lucy Guardino, as a character, is definitely someone I want to read more. She's a strong, smart, generous courageous FBI agent and she's also vulnerable in just enough moments to seem real. There were archetypes and characterizations that felt familiar instantly, but this book didn't lean on cliche. If you're squeamish about snakes, you'll love it. I listened to this book on audio, walking around with my iPhone constantly. (Quick comment on the narration, which I also appreciated. I prefer female narrators who read male voices with only a very slight shift of register. She struck just the right balance). This is the first in the Lucy Guardino series, and I'm glad it took me this long to dive in. The next one is just a click away. Bring on the next great escape!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    In CJ Lyons’ Snake Skin, we meet Supervisory Special Agent Lucia Guardino who is part of the FBI’s Sexual Assault Enforcement squad that handles crimes against children. Lucy has just transferred to Pittsburg, Pa. - with her husband, Nick, and daughter, Megan – to assume the lead of her new unit. Lucy is an amazingly strong woman. In addition to balancing relationships with her husband and her daughter, she’s leading her squad in the apprehension of child predators. They’ve just wrapped up a cas In CJ Lyons’ Snake Skin, we meet Supervisory Special Agent Lucia Guardino who is part of the FBI’s Sexual Assault Enforcement squad that handles crimes against children. Lucy has just transferred to Pittsburg, Pa. - with her husband, Nick, and daughter, Megan – to assume the lead of her new unit. Lucy is an amazingly strong woman. In addition to balancing relationships with her husband and her daughter, she’s leading her squad in the apprehension of child predators. They’ve just wrapped up a case when another child goes missing. It’s a race against time. Lucy must coordinate this case across multiple jurisdictions and is up against an extremely cunning predator. Snake Skin grabbed me right at the beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. It is an edgy thriller, full of suspense with lots of twists and turns. At various times I was cringing or gasping and always rooting for Lucy and her team. I loved the detail in this story and the strength and depth of the characters. In addition to Snake Skin, I’ve read four other CJ Lyons novels and recommend all of them. If you love thrillers, you too will become a CJ Lyons fan! I received this e-book from the author for the purpose of providing a review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Quillracer

    When I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I didn't feel that immediate connection with the characters that tells me I'm going to like a book. But the more I read, the more the main character, Lucy Guardino, and story grew on me until I found myself reading faster and faster to find out what happens next. That’s the sign of a good story. Lyons did a very good job of balancing Lucy’s home life with her responsibilities as an FBI agent, and the tug Lucy felt when both demanded When I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I didn't feel that immediate connection with the characters that tells me I'm going to like a book. But the more I read, the more the main character, Lucy Guardino, and story grew on me until I found myself reading faster and faster to find out what happens next. That’s the sign of a good story. Lyons did a very good job of balancing Lucy’s home life with her responsibilities as an FBI agent, and the tug Lucy felt when both demanded her attention. Not many writers can do that well. Lyons managed to pull off a good twist when she revealed who the bad guy was, yet she set the foundation so well, I didn’t think, ‘Where did that come from,’ but, ‘Oh, yeah. Of course.’ The only negative in my opinion was the bad guy in the story. I always find an antagonist who outthinks and outmaneuvers the main character at every turn and always has one more trick up his or her sleeve a little hard to accept as realistic. I’m always glad when I can find a new author and series to add to my ‘want to read list.’ I found that in C. J. Lyons’s Lucy Guardino series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Good

    This novel by CJ Lyons was my first, and I enjoyed it. A Fast paced thriller, the main character is FBI Agent Lucy Guardino. The plot and storyline were intriguing and kept me turning the pages. I liked Lucy’s bravado and determination to get the worst of the worst criminals. I wasn’t so keen on putting her sick daughter on the back burner while she tried to save another child, but that may be a personal position. I could never leave my sick child- I’d delegate. Overall, I found the story to be This novel by CJ Lyons was my first, and I enjoyed it. A Fast paced thriller, the main character is FBI Agent Lucy Guardino. The plot and storyline were intriguing and kept me turning the pages. I liked Lucy’s bravado and determination to get the worst of the worst criminals. I wasn’t so keen on putting her sick daughter on the back burner while she tried to save another child, but that may be a personal position. I could never leave my sick child- I’d delegate. Overall, I found the story to be a page-turner. The only thing that disappointed me was the ending - it left a few loose ends dangling, but perhaps it’s because this was book one in a series – Hope so. The book was entertaining and kept me turning the pages. I connected with the main character as both a strong, determined woman and mother. I found the plot interesting and intriguing. Didn’t care for the snakes and they may have been a bit overdone, but that did not pull me from the plot at all. I loved the writing style and the voice. The ending, however, left me wanting and a bit disappointed and for that reason, I give

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