This book was a little different from the usual Temperance Brennan in that she started out being totally involved in the wreckage of an airplane and t...moreThis book was a little different from the usual Temperance Brennan in that she started out being totally involved in the wreckage of an airplane and then after finding a foot that doesn's seem to belong to any of the passengers, she is taken off the crash team. Not only is she not involved, but her reputation as a profession is brought into serious question.
I didn't like having to wait for other characters to provide information any better than Brennan did. At first it seemed as if she was getting side tracked with mysterious problems with her car and strange mountain folk, but it all came together in the end, making this one of her better books. (less)
This was an absolutely fascinating book on genetics. The author used color of dogs as her example and I learned just how complex some colors of dogs a...moreThis was an absolutely fascinating book on genetics. The author used color of dogs as her example and I learned just how complex some colors of dogs are, especially white dogs. The most interesting part was how the genes have switches which activate them only under certain conditions...if the color is brown and if the hair length is ? then... Ms. Dyer also has a way of explaining even the most complex concepts in ways that layman can understand. Not only will this book explain basic genetics to you, but you will never look at dogs the same way again.(less)
For a book that has no good guys, this was surprisingly good. Dr. Daniel Lowell has developed a procedure for using stem cells in curing Parkinson's d...moreFor a book that has no good guys, this was surprisingly good. Dr. Daniel Lowell has developed a procedure for using stem cells in curing Parkinson's disease which shows great promise in lab animals. The powerful Senator Ashley Butler is one of the foremost opponents of stem cell research, but has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. In a secret meeting, he has promised that the bill to ban stem cell research will not proceed out of his committee if Dr. Lowell will use him as his test subject. Both men are thoroughly self serving and amoral. They decide to do the procedure in an unlicensed infertility clinic in the Bahamas which is run by two doctors who are even more despicable than Lowell and Butler. Add in a couple of mobsters who have invested in Daniel's company and want their money to provide dividends and you have a thoroughly disgusting cast of characters. There are two women involved and they seem to have the only modicum of conscience in the book.
Cook has again written a book that is timely and complex. You are kept guessing up to the end of the book and at times, it seems impossible for the book to come to a satisfying conclusion. As with most of his books, the book is fast paced and believable.(less)
Dr. Megan Clark and the Murder by the Yard Reading Circle decide to do a book tour of all the old murder sites in Amarillo, TX. Her best friend, Ryan,...moreDr. Megan Clark and the Murder by the Yard Reading Circle decide to do a book tour of all the old murder sites in Amarillo, TX. Her best friend, Ryan, hopes that this will keep her out of trouble. Ryan is her widowed next door neighbor and father of her childhood best friend. He comes to the meetings of the book club with her in hopes of keeping her out of trouble.
Megan is a petite young woman who has a Phd in anthropology and an interest in murder. Her training helps her to see relationships that the police often miss, but lead her into danger. While conducting this tour, Megan is approached by the grandfather of a murder victim and asks her to find out the murderer of his grandson even though it is almost assuredly a member of his own family. As Megan circles closer and closer to the murderer, Ryan becomes increasingly alarmed by her danger.
I found this to be a better than average cozy murder and the characters are quite likable. The relationship between Ryan and Megan is a stretch, but adds interest to the plot.(less)
This book is similar to The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. It tells of a freak blizzard that hit the northern plains states in 18...moreThis book is similar to The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. It tells of a freak blizzard that hit the northern plains states in 1888. Scores of immigrants had sold everything and come to the rich lands of the American prairie only to find that the harsh climate could destroy those dreams in a day. The blizzard was called "the children's blizzard" because it struct about the time that children were going or returning from school. The weather bureau was in its infancy and the politics of the government agency and the conflicting claims of the railroad made it difficult to get what little warning there was out to the people. Actually, while there were problems with the weather bureau, this storm was so huge, so freakish and moving so rapidly that it was probably unpredictable with the weather instruments of the day and impossible to get word to the people on the prairie who had no phones or radios. This storm stands out like the 1935 hurricane in the Florida Keys and the Galveston hurricane of 1909 and the perfect storm of 1991...perfect, but sinister storms where every variable added more fuel to the raging tempests.
I remember a storm a little like this from my childhood in St. Louis. The weather of the morning of the storm was very mild and, like the children in the book, we went to school without boots, gloves or even hats. Out of nowhere came an incredible drop in temperature...in the case of the 1888 storm of even 30 degrees in less than half an hour. In our case, traffic came to a standstill and our buses couldn't run. We were kept at school for hours and hours watching the snow build and wondering if someone could come and get us. The nuns played games with us and allowed us to slide on the hall floors, something totally forbidden, in order to keep us from panicking, but the snow continued to rage. Finally a neighbor walked home from his work and then walked the 2 miles to the school bringing winter hats, boots and mittens for us and we set out for home. I will always be grateful for those wonderful nuns whose faith and good nature made our wait more of an adventure than anxiety. I remember standing at the window, realizing that it was possible than no one could get through and I remember one of the nuns calling us to slide on the perfectly waxed floors and making a game of who could slide the furthest. The incredible novelty of being encouraged to break such a hard fast rule made me leave my fears at the window and revel in such an unexpected pleasure.
The teachers and students of 1888 didn't have paved roads lined with houses to follow as we did. Teachers faced the decision to keep the children at school and hope their firewood held out or was enough to keep them freezing in temperatures of -30 degrees, or to lead them home as quickly as possible. In some cases, the decision didn't matter. They were doomed no matter what they chose. In other cases, some children miraculously were found alive where they seemingly had little chance of making it and others were found dead all huddled together on the bare prairie.
It wasn't just children. Farmers got lost going to the barn and froze to death just feet from their homes. Cattle froze standing up and toppled over when it began to thaw. Some communities lost dozens of members and some families lost almost all their children in just one day. Little decisions, easily made, spelled life or death.
I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a glimpse into the tremendous power of nature an a reminder that no matter how advanced we become, we can never control nature. It is also an excellent glimpse into the life of early immigrants and the prairie they lost so much to tame.(less)
This book is so hard to read...not from the writing, but the events and the people who perpetrated them. I am finding that I can only read a few pages...moreThis book is so hard to read...not from the writing, but the events and the people who perpetrated them. I am finding that I can only read a few pages at a time. The book is extremely well researched with footnotes and an extensive bibliography. A great deal of it comes from actual interviews.
The extent of Nazi crimes is far more unimaginable that I could have ever thought and nothing is worse than doctors, who are trained to heal, turning into killers. The book deals with the SS doctors, German doctors, prison/inmate doctors and prison/inmate/Jewish doctors. I is also filled with the elaborate lengths the Nazis went to to cover up what they were doing to the world and to themselves.
As I continue to read this book, I am amazed at the amount of source material Lifton has used. The foundation of the book is interviews with the doctors, a few SS doctors, but mainly prisoners who were doctors. I am on the chapter on Mengele and it is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever read. I have read numerous books on Hitler and the concentration camps, but was left unsatisfied. No author could answer the question, "Why?" Why did seemingly normal people do such atrocious things?
The chapter on Mengele explains how he was able to compartmentalize his mind and do seemingly contradictory things. He would work hard to save a Gypsy from typhoid and then send him to the gas chamber later that week. In understanding the mind of Mengele, I finally began to understand some of these incredible events effected ordinary people. Make no mistake, Mengele was not a normal person. He had to have had a sadistic streak already, but, as the author says, he was “the right person at the right time and at the right place.” He saw himself as “healing” the German race and beyond that, healing mankind through genetic selection. He was an ideologue, as were the leaders of the party. They saw themselves as purging the race of man of the undesirables, which would lead to the “thousand year reich.” He was a demigod in Auschwitz and acted accordingly, but at times, he would be seen as honorable and courageous.
This is the book that I have always been looking for. (less)
I agree with the others that this was not one of her best books. There is a lot of action and some novel situations, but she doesn't develop the chara...moreI agree with the others that this was not one of her best books. There is a lot of action and some novel situations, but she doesn't develop the characters as well in this book. Still, it was easy enough to stick with to the end.(less)
This is one of my favorite Tess Gerritsen books. I think the plot is novel and very interesting. There is quite a bit of medical information in the bo...moreThis is one of my favorite Tess Gerritsen books. I think the plot is novel and very interesting. There is quite a bit of medical information in the book and it is explained well. I found this one hard to put down.(less)
This is another favorite of mine by this author. The characters are well drawn and there is a tremendous sense of urgency that keeps you turning the p...moreThis is another favorite of mine by this author. The characters are well drawn and there is a tremendous sense of urgency that keeps you turning the pages and promising yourself you will only read one more page. I'll probably re read this one again.(less)
You would not think a book about two scientist competing with each other to find the cause of Bubonic Plague would be so interesting, but this was fas...moreYou would not think a book about two scientist competing with each other to find the cause of Bubonic Plague would be so interesting, but this was fascinating. Japanese researcher Shibasaburo Kitasato and French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin were in a race with time in Hong Kong in the late 19th century. Shibasaburo Kitasato was a brilliant scientist with a world wide reputation. He had a lab and funding to carry out his research in Hong Kong. Alexandre Yersin was on an extremely limited budget and was forced to research on the plague ships in the harbor and yet is was Yersin who discovered the key to the way the plague was spread. He was also the first to discover a vaccine. (less)
Most people don't know that the US averted a serious nation-wide epidemic in 1900. Social, cultural and psychological issues prevented public health o...moreMost people don't know that the US averted a serious nation-wide epidemic in 1900. Social, cultural and psychological issues prevented public health officials from curtailing the outbreak and risked a tragedy for the nation. The plague began in Chinatown and virtually all the buildings had to be destroyed.
The book is well-written and worth reading. It gets a little tiresome at the very end, but held my interest the whole way through. One thing I felt was very interesting. The first official from the Health department, Joseph Kinyoun, was an excellent scientist, but was not a good communicator, nor was he at ease in social settings. He was unable to convince the city leaders that there was a serious problem. His successor, Rupert Blue, was a more adept at dealing with politicians and with much persistence, was able to convince the city leaders to take the necessary actions. I find it amazing to think that this country could have experienced a European type plague because of one man's social skills.(less)