I read this right after a visit to Baltimore because it was set there. I didn't find the plot all that difficult to figure out and therefore got boredI read this right after a visit to Baltimore because it was set there. I didn't find the plot all that difficult to figure out and therefore got bored waiting for my assumptions to be confirmed. A little too fluffy for me....more
This is only the second King book I have read - The Shining being the first. I truly had no idea that this one had any element of horror/fear in it. SThis is only the second King book I have read - The Shining being the first. I truly had no idea that this one had any element of horror/fear in it. Silly me. Little girl gets lost in the woods - stalked by...something as she tries to will her body not to give out on her before she can find her way back to civilization. Halfway through I stopped to go to bed and realized my stomach muscles were firmly clenched tight. Note to self. Don't read this stuff before bed. And it wasn't really even all that scary on the horror scale - but reading these things are far worse for me than watching them in a movie. Reading puts all of the imagery in my head - which has an overactive imagination. I had a moment of terror when I stopped to try and remember whether or not King kills off children in his other works. He wouldn't do that to poor Trish now would he? She's a Red Sox fan. He's a Red Sox fan. I'm a Red Sox fan. No way he'd do that. Would he? I read this book so quickly because I wanted to shake that stalking "thing" ASAP. And as long as I stay away from hikes in the woods for a while I think I'll be OK. If you want to know how Trish fared against it, you'll have to go down that path yourself. Just don't stray off of it too far......more
I liked how this book was different from the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons in that it involved more of the high tech world. It was very suspenI liked how this book was different from the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons in that it involved more of the high tech world. It was very suspenseful and had great twists. I don't like his character endings very much - but overall I enjoy his books a lot. Gets your mind spinning and fingers flying through the pages....more
This book was too long - for me at least, considering I figured out the whole "who dunnit" part just about half-way through. So then I had to muddle mThis book was too long - for me at least, considering I figured out the whole "who dunnit" part just about half-way through. So then I had to muddle my way through all the hint dropping the rest of the way. I lost interest but made it through. Because of this disinterest, I had lots of time to notice things like the author's love for the word "elliptical."
This is a crime/court thriller set in San Francisco focused on an ugly custody battle that ends in a suicide. Of course, no one really believes it was a suicide, so a murder investigation and trial ensues. Mixed in with all of this there is political corruption, extortion, child abuse, sociopaths, spousal abuse, family secrets, high profile lawyers, jaunts to Italy and revenge.
Frankly, I thought the entire story was ridiculous. Especially the pretty bow around the predictible ending. The perfectly choreographed courtroom cross examinations came in a close second.
The parts I enjoyed the most were those featuring the evil Richie and how he was always one step ahead in his plotting. His character was written in a way that made me hate him as if he were real - so I would consider that effective writing. Unfortunately, all the rest annoyed me more than anything else....more
If you have never seen the Showtime TV series based upon this and the following 4 books Lindsey has written thus far, you will probably enjoy this debIf you have never seen the Showtime TV series based upon this and the following 4 books Lindsey has written thus far, you will probably enjoy this debut in the Dexter series. I saw the TV show first, and therefore didn't enjoy the book as much. My first problem was that I kept comparing all the details between the two - picturing the actors and scenery in my head that existed so conveniently from TV (Six Feet Under's Michael C. Hall is phenomenal again per usual). My second problem was that the TV show came up with a much better ending to the first season (which follows the first book) and treatment of the characters than the book did.
One thing I did like better about the book is that it is much darker than the show. This is because in the book, we are all the time in Dexter's mind, dealing with his inner thoughts about what it is like to pretend to be a normal guy when inside you have no soul and fight off the urge to kill people by only killing those you know to be guilty and deserving of it. On TV, there just isn't enough time or way to have everything narrated - though a lot of it is. So the book lets me know how evil and twisted dear Dexter really is. On TV, he isn't so bad - you can't help but love him. In the book, I get the creeps.
The TV series interpreted several of the characters a bit differently in their roles and personalities - some who are purely afterthoughts in the book are more prominent in the series. Some who meet their demise in the book live on to see another season in the series. If you have seen the series and not read the book, no real need. Like I said, the show is better. But I probably will dip into Dexter's "dark passenger" again between the pages in the future - to see just how different things progress. A fun case study in the mind of a serial killer ridding the world of worse evil is always a good way to pass the day....more
I received this book directly from the author, Karen, who I met in the world of book blogs and I enjoy her blog very much. She has a great gift of wriI received this book directly from the author, Karen, who I met in the world of book blogs and I enjoy her blog very much. She has a great gift of writing and insight into her perception of the world around her. I had wanted to read her book for a long time and was eager to get started when it arrived.
It is difficult to be eager to read a story about a mother who drowns her children. But this is not so much a story of the brutality of the murder but rather the brutality of the effect that it has on those who survive. Jane snaps one morning and her husband Tom is rushed home by the authorities when a delivery man finds Jane has drowned her twins in the kitchen sink, laying them out on the floor. The little girl survives while her brother does not. The book delves into Tom's life after his wife has been committed to a mental institution and he is about to go on trial for being libel for his son's death as he should have seen the signs before it was too late. He is also dealing with accusations that he himself may have been the reason she was driven to such a terrible act.
The plot then heads toward the angle of genetic pre-disposition and how much of what we do is inherited behavior and how much is caused by current environment and real choices. I found all of this very interesting and appreciated the different view of the story. We never hear from Jane herself - the story is told through her husband. His life has fallen apart and he struggles with himself and guilt, blame and anger. But he also loves his wife and can't escape the loss he feels. He finds that he never really knew her at all when a medium hired by his attorney shows up to lead them through a "This Is Your Life" version of Jane.
This is where the book lost me completely. In the course of 24 hours this woman, who is a long lost relative of Jane's, picks up objects from a trunk of mementos belonging to Jane and by touching them, is transported back in time into the mind and soul of various relatives from Jane's historical past. Through them they learn first hand all of the skeletons in Jane's family's closet and the horrible incidents that happened along the family tree.
It was a clever plot device to introduce lots of people and information quickly and without the need for overly lengthy character development, but it became unrealistic and I took the book's message much less seriously as a result. I can suspend disbelief to a certain extent but even if I did believe in the power/ability of mediums I don't believe that one would have the energy or success to sit there hour after hour and receive such an effective tapestry of information so quickly. I found it hard to believe that the attorney couldn't just research Jane's past through more traditional, and reliable, channels. And it irritated me that Tom was forever wishing his daughter was there, but never actually doing anything to be with her - shipping her off instead to his mother.
I enjoyed the emotional tug of war presented. How can a man love the wife who murdered his son? Would it be helpful or harmful for the surviving daughter to know the mother who tried to kill her? How much of our actions are caused by genetic trauma? How do you handle survivor's guilt? I disliked the format in revealing the information we needed to learn who Jane really was. Personal taste I suppose.
This is really closer to 3 stars for the writing and subject matter but as of now I lean more towards 2 for the way the medium method took away from the true connection I was feeling for the tale....more
"It was all right now, he told himself. He was safe! "It was just as he was draining the last warming sip of bourbon that he realized the one ghastly m"It was all right now, he told himself. He was safe! "It was just as he was draining the last warming sip of bourbon that he realized the one ghastly mistake he had made, and knew exactly who would almost inevitably detect it. "Neeve Kearny." ~pg. 16, Chapter 1
Oh I love a good thriller. And by "good" I mean something that I can whip through in a few sittings, that keeps my brain turning over theories in between visits with the pages, and that gives me a decent shot at solving the crime near the end of the tale. I refer to mysteries as thrillers - because that's how I like them. I want them to get my heart pounding. Even when I know that the protagonist is most definitely not going to be killed off midway through a book bearing their name. I like being scared enough to have to remind myself of that fact. And feel silly giddy doing it.
I would say that this is a pretty good thriller. I found it to be utterly unbelievable in the sense of the villain's motive and especially their reaction upon being "found out" at the end (of course). But I did enjoy the ride getting there. The tiny details that generally would be ridiculous to rely upon as clues were not so annoying because the character of Neeve Kearny was developed quite well by the author and her eye for detail was therefore not only believable, but the fact that she could have overlooked such details would have been the unbelievable aspect.
Nerve is a dress shop owner who has made a nice name for herself in the fashion industry through her stylish boutique store. She dresses some wealthy clients, but none as annoying as freelance writer extraordinaire Ethel Lambston. Ethel is clueless about fashion but has enough sense to let Neeve outfit her every need. Her reliance upon Neeve for her attire is something that money allows for. She has plenty of it, thanks to a smart alimony set up, and her own smart journalistic expose writing that rubs many the wrong way. Needless to say, she's got plenty of enemies to factor in the mix when she is murdered in the opening chapter.
The fact that no one knows she's been murdered, or even that she is dead, for days on end is thanks to our savvy villain's detailed disposal plan. The villain knows how to stay unnoticed, where a body can stay hidden, and how to cover tracks. Timing is everything, and a snowstorm combined with a bunch of other more natural suspects coming out of the woodwork makes the villain's handiwork much easier to conceal.
That said, our Neeve Kearny knows something is amiss and isn't afraid to pursue it. Her father is the former police commissioner after all. I know, I know - how convenient. But Neeve isn't a detective - she sells dresses. She may not have inherited an interest in fighting crime, but she does share that great eye for detail that all cops and fashionistas have.
Of course, Neeve needs a love interest to make this little thriller's archetype complete. And one who is not only handsome and successful and smart, but painfully single. Fated, ships passing in the night kind of stuff. Here's my other beef with the plot. I bought how Neeve could piece things together in the end. Except she didn't. Not until it was too late. Her boyfriend - in addition to a late entry love interest for her widowed father (eye roll) - are able to figure things out too without nearly as much background or knowledge (maybe Neeve just couldn't see the forest for the trees) - but will they be in time? Or foiled again?
Ah - you know how these things end. But the ride to get there was well done. And I appreciate that. Any book that keeps me wracking my brain over whodunnit "while my pretty one sleeps" is always worth a few stars....more
Eh. That's pretty much how I feel about this book. From the opening pages the author's writing style just didn't grab me and that was a problem sinceEh. That's pretty much how I feel about this book. From the opening pages the author's writing style just didn't grab me and that was a problem since the book went on and on and on like that.
The narrator, Rob (aka Adam) Ryan, is a detective in Ireland working on a murder case that just so happens to have taken place in his childhood home town. The story follows his life during this particular case and flashes back to his childhood when he and his 2 best friends went missing in the woods, with him being found alone, in shock, standing in bloody shoes but unharmed. He has no memory of what happened and the current case stirs up a desire to try to remember that early part of his life.
A large part of the book delves into his strong bond with his partner, Cassie Maddox. This is where it began to get annoying for me. Over and over and over the narrator drones on and on about how tremendous their friendship is and how much like siblings they are. They are so cool - their relationship is the envy of everyone around them - blah blah blah. I also couldn't stop remembering that Rob was a guy written by a woman - he always seemed more like what a woman would picture a guy to be - never truly his own voice.
Then there is a big transition/turning point in the story - which takes about 3/4 of the way through to get there. The narrator's behavior after this made no sense to me - especially after all else that was hammered into my brain leading up to it. So unfortunately, just as the story was starting to pick up some much needed speed, the characters stopped being believable.
Although I did not figure out the ending in advance, I was not really that surprised or shocked by it. Enough foreshadowing had occurred to present it as an option - just the details of exactly how were what needed to be revealed. Going through all of that for a fizzle at the end sealed the 2 star rating from me....more