What You See is a fast-paced thriller written with Hank Phillippi Ryan’s signature style of short chapters and small cliff-hangers making for a rivetiWhat You See is a fast-paced thriller written with Hank Phillippi Ryan’s signature style of short chapters and small cliff-hangers making for a riveting read. Each time it seems something will be revealed a new scene with different characters opens, and it is just as interesting as the one before. This style keeps the reader on her toes and kept me up all night to discover what was really happening at Boston’s Faneuil Hall Market and City Offices. In this age of Big Brother, Boston’s Mayor has agreed that city surveillance cameras will not record unless the person monitoring sees something suspicious and hits a button. For Tenley, this is a boring summer job after her freshman year in college, but it keeps her close to her mother, Chief of Staff to the Mayor, after a family tragedy the year before. When Tenley sees something suspicious and hits Record Twenty Seconds, her boss stops the recording for political reasons, leaving the police with no footage of a brutal stabbing at a historic tourist attraction. Meanwhile, journalist Jane Ryland has been sent to the scene, unbeknownst to her clandestine boyfriend Jake, who is investigating the murder.
I loved the fast pace of What You See and the relationship between Jake and Jane, who love and respect each other, but must keep their relationship on the down-low because of their conflicting careers. Running into each other during their separate investigations they imply a professional acquaintance only, yet signal each other with eye and body signals. They are each careful to not betray their own investigation while serving the greater good in catching a murderer and revealing corruption at the highest level of city government.
Although Jake and Jane are the recurring characters in this series, the secondary characters are as prominent in the individual books like What You See. Teenage Tenley and her mother Catherine have a contentious relationship like many mothers and teen daughters, theirs made more tenuous because of a family tragedy and secrets. Jane’s sister Melissa is about to marry and something strange is going on with her fiance’s ex-wife and daughter, causing Jane to constantly have to leave the investigation to help with the family situation.
The concept behind the murder and the intrigue at city hall is interesting and timely in today’s world, and the relationships between mother-daughter, dramatically different sisters, and lovers Jake and Jane run true. I have read the first book in the series, The Other Woman and plan to read the others soon. Knowing the author as a journalist from my local news makes me feel more connected to the stories of the great city where I live. Although I haven’t read them, there was no problem following the story or the relationship between our heroine and hero. I recommend What You See and the entire series to fans of fast-paced, interesting thrillers, and the touch of Boston makes it even better for those who enjoy New England history.
I received What You See from the publisher in exchange for my honest review....more
I've been watching HPR on the news for years but didn't know she had written some books until about a month ago, so I was eager to check them out. I sI've been watching HPR on the news for years but didn't know she had written some books until about a month ago, so I was eager to check them out. I started with this first in the series, of course, and greatly enjoyed it. The plot was twisty and the two mysteries finally merging together into one investigation because of too many coincidences was timed well. I liked the elements of reporting, which I'm assuming are accurate with the author having so many years in the field, although this is about print news and she is an on-air person. I was excited to read a book set in my "home" city and reminisce about my college days wandering around everywhere on foot. I only get in once a month or so these days. I was disappointed at the rearranging and re-naming of places, and couldn't figure out a reason for it. I actually started getting confused about where something was happening and had to tell myself to read as if I knew nothing about Boston geography. I like Jane, the main character, and want to know more about her and if her relationship with the cute cop will go anywhere, so I will be picking up the other books in this series at some point....more
I had never read anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs before Cemetery Dance, but I knew their genre and reputation, so I was a bit surprised and intrigued to give it a try. I am not one for horror books, but I gamely jumped into Cemetery Dance and found that this is definitely not a horror book, but a crime story. There are so many interesting elements involved: rivalry between newspapers, politics in the police department, laws of squatters' rights and eminent domain, and of course the "is it real" element of people coming back from the dead as a zombies to kill. All of the key things that would be difficult for someone with little background information to envision, such as ancient underground crypts, religious fetishes, and even what a zombie looks, sounds, and smells like, are amazingly detailed, which I really appreciated.
Cemetery Dance features many of the series' recurring characters including archaeologist Nora Kelly, police detective Vincent D'Agosta, FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast, and Captain Laura Hayward, who all work somewhat independently and sometimes together to figure out the bizarre happenings in Manhattan. Although this is my first book by these authors, I felt I knew the characters quickly and most of them well. Laura Hayward is written as a strong, professional law enforcement officer, who tries to hold back her more feminine traits at work, which is difficult considering that she and Vincent D'Agosta, although no longer together, have strong feelings for one another. Vincent, also, is a well-rounded character, although he has a few traits that some might consider stereotypical. I definitely enjoyed Cemetery Dance and will go back to the library to get the first book in the Pendergast series, Relic. I'm also passing this on to my nephews who are going to LOVE it!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review....more
This story of two tragic deaths is primarily told through the eyes of Jo, a thirty-two-year-old mother, and her twelve-year-old daughter Caroline. JoThis story of two tragic deaths is primarily told through the eyes of Jo, a thirty-two-year-old mother, and her twelve-year-old daughter Caroline. Jo is awkward with her children and struggles with feeling inadequate as a parent and wife but doesn't know how to improve the situation. Jo is a difficult character to like, yet I still felt for her struggles and understood how the situation developed.
Karen Katchur does an excellent job of slowly revealing just what happened sixteen years ago as Jo meets up with old friends who still live at the lake and her husband arrives to lend support. Caroline and Jo are both changed at the end of the week, as are many of the secondary characters.
Ultimately, The Secrets of Lake Road is a story about family and communication. This is excellent debut fiction and I look forward to seeing what Karen Katchur bring readers next.
I eagerly anticipated The Murderer's Daughter, especially because it was a stand-alone novel. Alex Delaware is wonderful, but it's fun to mix it up, aI eagerly anticipated The Murderer's Daughter, especially because it was a stand-alone novel. Alex Delaware is wonderful, but it's fun to mix it up, and it's more creative for the author of course. Once again I was not disappointed.
With Grace Blades, Mr. Kellerman has given readers a complex and compelling woman dealing with issues from her past on her own in an organized, deliberate manner. Grace uses her off-the-charts intelligence to work with families dealing with devastating loss, such as the murder of a child. An adrenaline junkie, at night Grace takes risks that have now caught up to her. When a man who consulted Grace just one time ends up dead the next day and she notices someone following her, Grace begins her own investigation into who this patient really was.
I absolutely loved Grace as a character, although there are many things about her that are harsh and some might see as unlikable. Her amazing intelligence helps her turn a horrible beginning into an amazing life, with some luck and help along the way.
For those who lovIf you have never read anything by Jonathan Kellerman, The Murderer's Daughter would be a great place to start.
Body language expert Kathryn Dance is a key interrogator for the CA Bureau of Investigations and is often the lead detective on big cases. In Solitude Creek Kathryn has been put on Civil Division duty, which means she cannot carry a weapon or work criminal cases. Her first Civ-Div assignment is to check the permits at a music club on Solitude Creek where a stampede of frightened patrons killed three and injured numerous others. While speaking with the club owner and witnesses, Kathryn realizes that this was no accident, nor was it a set up for insurance money. Meanwhile, the huge gang-related drug smuggling case she had been working is moving forward without her. Against the boss’s orders, Kathryn manages to stay involved with the drug case while “consulting” with the local sheriff on Solitude Creek. In addition to these two cases, Kathryn is juggling her two children and her first boyfriend since becoming a widow several years earlier. There are several other wickedly clever panic scenes besides the initial Solitude Creek nightclub, one where Kathryn and her friend, sheriff’s deputy Michael O’Neill are also trapped, in addition to interrogations and searches in the drug running case. Solitude Creek once again makes me wonder where and how Jeffery Deaver comes up with his original premise. A man starting panics all over California’s Monterey Peninsula for no apparent reason is an idea that I could never design. Although it is not necessary to read the other books in this series first, I always recommend trying to start with the first when a book is full of the character’s story in addition to the mystery.
I received Solitude Creek free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review....more
Having read and loved The Doll Maker, the newest in the Balzano & Byrnes series, I had to go back to the beginning and read the first. AbsolutelyHaving read and loved The Doll Maker, the newest in the Balzano & Byrnes series, I had to go back to the beginning and read the first. Absolutely no disappointment at all. We are introduced to the characters and their families, learning their greatest loves, fears, and regrets as new homicide partners Jessica and Kevin investigate their first case together. Someone in Philadelphia is killing Catholic school girls and leaving them with a rosary twined through their hands, which have been bolted together as if at prayer. Combining Jessica's ability to research and Kevin's years of investigation experience, they race against time, often distracted by red herrings and false suspects, to a conclusion that hits too close to home for both detectives....more
This is the first book Ian Rankin had published and it is so well-written it could just as well be his 25th. Originally intended as a stand alone noveThis is the first book Ian Rankin had published and it is so well-written it could just as well be his 25th. Originally intended as a stand alone novel, Knots and Crosses launched the highly successful Inspector John Rebus mystery series. Like many heroes of the crime genre, Rebus. is a tortured soul who smokes and drinks too much. Divorced, he is only able to see his twelve year old daughter once a week. Rebus has recently received some strange notes with small things included, such as a string of knots, and a cross made of matchsticks. He thinks nothing of this, considering thecletterscranks, even though the letters are delivered to his door and not through the mail. As for the crime element, young girls the age of Rebus' daughter are being abducted and found dead a day later, with no signs of sexual assault. There are too many ways to hit you with spoilers, so that is all I'm writing about the plot. Besides Rebus there is Gill, the female press liaison, Jim Stevens, a disenchanted reporter, and Rebus' brother, who has troublesof his own. Readers follow these people together and on their own, to a frightening, harrowing conclusion, unleashing Rebus' demons, revealing his brother's secret, and opening the reporter's eyes to a world with a brighter future. I will definitely read more John Rebus mysteries....more
Jeffrey Deaver has done it again in his ninth Lincoln Rhyme forensic thriller. I learned something and was not able to figure out the true bad guy. ThJeffrey Deaver has done it again in his ninth Lincoln Rhyme forensic thriller. I learned something and was not able to figure out the true bad guy. That's a big feat! Someone is terrorizing NYC, using electricity as their weapon of choice. But is it a political terrorist, an ecoterrorist, or a random person with a personal agenda? Deaver does a masterful job of explains the electrical grid system, how electricity is created, stored, and eventually ends up in our homes, while at the same time holding my attention wondering where the UNSUB will hit next and how the power of electricity will be used each time. This isn't simple doorknobs rigged to electrocute. It's an electrical arc as a gun or power into an infrastructure turning a building as a bomb. As always this was an interesting thriller with characters I know and care about. It kept me reading late into the night....more
For those familiar with Lisa Scottoline's Rosato and Associates series, the new Rosato & Dinunzio acknowledges Mary Dinunzio becoming a partner inFor those familiar with Lisa Scottoline's Rosato and Associates series, the new Rosato & Dinunzio acknowledges Mary Dinunzio becoming a partner in the law firm and also gives Bennie Rosato a backseat to the adventure and crime solving. So it's basically a continuation, which for those who don't like change is perfect. Mary was the star of the first book in the series, Accused; with Betrayed she's a supporting player to best friend and legal associate Judy Carrier. Judy has a lot on her plate. She's maid of honor helping to plan Mary's wedding, she's feeling frustrated in the relationship with her live-in boyfriend, and she's just learned that her very close aunt has been diagnosed with breast cancer. To top it off, her mom, with whom she has an awkward relationship, has shown up for the duration of Aunt Barb's treatment and recovery. She has little time for work, and her cases are beginning to suffer. When Aunt Barb's friend and caregiver, Iris, disappears, it's all Judy can do to keep her head on. Barb can't focus on her health needing to know what happen to Iris. Judy's investigation takes her into the precarious world of undocumented workers. No one will help her and the police don't think there's a problem until a priest helping these workers is murdered and Judy's car is blown up. In addition to the mystery there is the cancer storyline, the awkwardness with Mom, and the possibility of Mary jeopardizing her job, which can be a lot to keep up with. Of all these, I think the mother storyline could have waited until another book. It wasn't necessary to the plot of the mystery, which is the first reason someone would pick up this book. I also found Mary somewhat manic in keeping up with everything (Who wouldn't be?) but foolish in not taking a leave from work or having her cases reassigned. Instead she keeps it all private and her boss just thinks she's dropping the ball. The next book, Corrupted, comes out in October and I am looking forward to it. These books are always reliable legal thrillers with some humor and I always learn something. I definitely recommend Betrayed or any of the Rosato mysteries. If you haven't read any, you don't need to start with the first, but as always, it's nice to get the character's back stories....more
This is the first Kathryn Dance book by Jeffrey Deaver. Readers are introduced to the character in The Cold Moon, a Lincoln Rhimes book, where she conThis is the first Kathryn Dance book by Jeffrey Deaver. Readers are introduced to the character in The Cold Moon, a Lincoln Rhimes book, where she consults on a case with him. Although the characters are very different, with Rhimes being so pure science, and Dance being a specialist in interview techniques, body language, an voice tones, the story is plotted out in traditional Deaver style with exciting twists and turns. The subplot in The Sleeping Doll is lighter than in a Lincoln Rhimes book, with Kathryn Dance having children, a large circle of friends, and hobbies, making for an interesting read on many levels....more
I was a little disappointed about half way through, when it seemed like I'd read many of the plot elements in Another Lincoln Ryme book. But, as I kepI was a little disappointed about half way through, when it seemed like I'd read many of the plot elements in Another Lincoln Ryme book. But, as I kept reading there were definite differences, and Deaver includes so many different twists in every novel, how's could he not use something twice, and change it up. Also, I've been plowing through these books, instead of reading them months or years apart, as would be more natural if I had discovered them earlier in my and their lives. Definitely another good one!...more
I am a big Jonathan Kellerman fan and I've read a few things by his son,so I immediately jumped on this one. It was very unusual. On the surface it isI am a big Jonathan Kellerman fan and I've read a few things by his son,so I immediately jumped on this one. It was very unusual. On the surface it is a crime book about an LA cop who drinks too much and has major trouble with relationships, but there is a whole mysticism story going on and they come together about 1/2 way through. The Golem of Prague is a famous story from the Czech Republiv about a rabbi 500 years ago who created a man from clay who guarded the Jewish ghetto at night. That should be teaser enough for you to try The Golem of Hollywood....more