This was an inspiring follow up to (From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava), tracing Jay Kopelman and his transplanted dog Lava’s transition back to civilian life in the US. Unlike the first book this is more about the man than the dog. We witness Kopelman struggle here with problems that many returning veterans face including anger management and control issues. In Kopelman’s case it’s through his dog (and under a pretext of research for this book) that he’s finally able to admit to having PTSD.
I enjoyed the first book so much and often wondered what became of Jay and his rescue dog upon their return to America so I was thrilled to be allowed a glimpse back into their lives here. FBTA is a short read and I enjoyed it despite the fact that at times it felt more like an extended epilogue than an actual novel.
There wasn’t really a whole lot of substance here, interspaced with letters from assorted military, each telling their own stories of dogs that influenced them and how they tried (usually without success) to get them back to America, copies of the code of conduct, step by step instructions on how to don a field protective mask along with several other pages of military rules and regulations and 50 pages of appendages at the end. He also does a fair amount of well, for lack of a better word ranting but I guess he’s earned that right. Actually we get very little insight into Jay’s personal life at all (which again as the author is his right) but I would have appreciated a little more than just randomly reading that he’s married and then suddenly has a year old son.
Lava does continue to influence Jay throughout, being the one responsible for leading him to the woman he marries and ultimately forcing Kopelman to address his own PTSD through his behavioral problems. I would say this is any interesting and touching read, nowhere near as engaging as the first book but probably an important and relatable piece of work for returning veterans.
In regards to Lava’s own PTSD, and don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that he doesn’t have genuine issues but Kopelman states “that to keep Lava balanced he has to keep him on a schedule, avoid surprises (like the cable guy dropping by) and make sure Lava is eating well, sleeping and exercising because if he doesn’t everybody pays” Well I’m sorry but this is the standard for all dogs. My golden retriever has had a pretty perfect life but he still goes crazy if his life isn’t on a routine, and if he misses a walk, look the hell out. He also doesn’t appreciate strange, unannounced cable guys on the property. This is just normal dog behaviour, but whatever I’m glad seeing through Lava’s eyes enabled Kopelman to focus on himself. Cheers 348jb35...more
Opening Line:"I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."
Real or not real; I finally finished Mockingjay?Opening Line:"I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."
Real or not real; I finally finished Mockingjay? Thankfully real, because this just didn’t hold my attention like the fantastic and innovative The Hunger Games or leave me gasping as Catching Fire did. In the end though I still loved Suzanne Collins violent, bloody and utterly defeated conclusion to this series, it just took a bit (lot) of effort to get through to it. We aren’t left hanging where the love triangle is concerned though, with Collins giving us a realistic and satisfactory glimpse twenty years into Katniss’s future and who she finds herself there with.
All told Mockingjay is a brutal and despairing ride as Katniss, Peeta, Gale and just about every other character we’ve met so far wages war on the Capital and its President Snow. Yes a lot of people die here and I’ll be honest at times Mockingjay lost me. In fact I actually put it down more than once with no real ambition to pick it up again, as it just seemed to drag with endless battles, hospital visits and politics and if it hadn’t been for my curiosity about who Katniss ends up with I probably wouldn’t have bothered finishing it at all.
This is due in no small part to the fact that our heroine spends most of the book either waking up in hospital after being injured or recovering in a drug induced haze from one thing or another. This became monotonous, stalling the story. And while I appreciated Katniss’s battered state of body and mind -especially in the closing chapters I also found it overkill and wondered where that strong, take control girl from previous books had gone. On the other hand after what she’d been through its a wonder she didn’t just keep hiding in the closet, taking 'morphling' and shutting out a world gone mad where no one is who they seem anymore.
I was also very let down by the final climactic battle which for the most part we are told not shown because Katniss is again unconscious, even Snow became rather a non-issue here. And one if my biggest personal disappointments would have to be that we didn’t get to see Gale’s character fleshed out more. I had really been hoping that this would be his book, his time to shine and show us why Katniss loves him. Instead he remaines frustratingly vague.
I believe Suzanne Collins probably had the outcome to this series in her mind from the very first page of Hunger Games, unfortunately with this book she just wasn’t sure how to get us there and fumbled along with her conclusion. The ending chapters and epilogue are amazing though and almost make up for the bumpy, tiring ride that is Mockingjay, almost. And after all was said and done it was Buttercup the cat that had me crying and I'm not even a cat person. ...more
Opening Line: "It had been exactly fifty years since she'd seen him."
This was just the perfect Valentine’s Day read. In the style of (The Notebook), aOpening Line: "It had been exactly fifty years since she'd seen him."
This was just the perfect Valentine’s Day read. In the style of (The Notebook), a heartbreaker with flashbacks to the second World War, religious undertones and a love story that knows no bounds.
Betty White starred in the Hallmark movie version of this which is how I first became aware of the story. I liked the book even better though, even if it did jump around a lot with different time periods and up to 10 POV's including some very minor secondary characters. The battle scenes from the Philippians were particularly well done.
As well as the main 1940’s war time romance we’re also given a modern day older man/younger woman second chance romance (as the son of our couple tells his parents love story to a TV reporter) I enjoyed it equally as much.
The Last Valentine is just an all-round, beautiful, albeit bittersweet love story that left me believing in magic, requiring some tissues and unable to forget. Cheers ~4.5~ 350jb45...more
Opening line:"I don't remember exactly when I got to the house that served as our command post in the northwest sector of Fallujah, and I don't remembOpening line:"I don't remember exactly when I got to the house that served as our command post in the northwest sector of Fallujah, and I don't remember exactly how I got there."
This was a surprisingly great read that held me captivated from beginning to end and I've been recommending it like crazy to all my friends. FROM BAGHDAD WITH LOVE tells the heartwarming and somewhat heartbreaking story of a starving abandoned puppy named Lava and the hardened marine who along with wartime journalists, Iraqi citizens and many, many others that saved him from certain death on the bombed out streets of Iraq and eventually got him onto US soil.
Well written and containing 8 pages of photographs there is no secret to Lava's outcome but this is still an utterly fascinating story. Lava is initially discovered by the Third Marines unit known as The Lava Dogs when they storm an abandoned house in Fallujah Iraq and almost shoot him. Then not knowing what to do with the 5 week old puppy and forbidden by military law to keep pets the marines begin feeding and caring for the dog as they set up a command center in the abandoned house. Lava's presence allows the soldiers a pass from reality, a small piece of sweetness and normalcy in their daily hell and something else to think about other than getting killed. Has anybody fed the dog today? There are some touching scenes as we witness these big tough military men falling apart, talking in baby talk and playing with the puppy as he pees on their boots and destroys their belongings and they think he's cute.
Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman is eventually adopted by Lava who chooses his boots to sleep in. Subsequently several scenes play out like a movie as Lava is hidden and moved between red and green military zones and finally crated as they attempt to drive him across the Jordanian border. The last few chapters are really exciting, and even though you know the outcome you will find yourself wondering, how exactly are they going to pull this off?
I learned a surprising amount about the war in Iraq reading this book and really got a feel for what the soldiers go through on a daily basis living in a war zone. Just how hard it must be to maintain your sanity amidst all the chaos and death. The ending is WOW and had me close to tears, as it's Lava who ultimately saves one marine from the emotional ravages of war. This is a book that I can highly recommend, especially if you're a dog lover in addition you'll get to learn a little something about a war that most of us barely notice anymore when the images and numbers flash past on our TV screens. ...more
Opening Line: “Duncan could not wait to get the fuck out of this sand pit.”
Now this is how to start a romantic suspense series. Get the entire back stOpening Line: “Duncan could not wait to get the fuck out of this sand pit.”
Now this is how to start a romantic suspense series. Get the entire back story and set up out of the way without the distraction of a romance, -which is especially relevant here because JM Madden has taken the time to give us some real heroes. I loved how this 40 page prequel gave us all three soldiers stories from the very beginning, starting in the frontlines of Iraq and then through their injuries and subsequent treatment at a VA hospital. These aren’t your standard romance heroes battle scars either, these are real injuries and they haven’t been glossed over for which I want to thank Madden.
Our men have missing limbs, disfiguring burns and are wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. These are gut-wrenching, life altering wounds. We also get all the horror of war, the pain, the anger, the humiliation, the flashbacks and the grief over their lost bodies. Who they once were and the bewilderment about what their futures can hold for them now. Yup, these are heroes that needed their stories told first without the distraction of a romance.
My only real criticism here would be that at times I got the men confused, whose head we were in as they were often referred to by either their rank or a first or last name which was confusing.
In this well written prequel to (The Lost And Found Series) we meet three wounded warriors as they recover in hospital. Marine 1st Sargent Duncan Wilde- badly burned and learning to walk again and oh his girlfriend is expecting another man’s baby, doh!, Sergeant Chad Lowell who lost a leg and doesn’t relish returning to his hometown and its ongoing sympathy party, and Gunnery Sergeant John Palmer who is confined to a wheelchair, full of F-bombs and angry at the world.
Emotionally and physically torn apart we witness as a friendship is forged on adversity. But as their bodies heal and a new reality is faced they wonder what will they do now? How can they still give back to society? Surely there must be a way to still utilize their military talents despite their setbacks and limitations. And it’s here that “Lost And Found Investigative Services” is forged.
Can’t wait to start Embattled Hearts, just wish I had a Kindle so I could continue with John’s F’n story right now LOL 362jb45...more
Opening Line:"Paul Franklin loved being a driver. He loved being a medic too, but he really loved being a driver"
This is the story of Master CorporalOpening Line:"Paul Franklin loved being a driver. He loved being a medic too, but he really loved being a driver"
This is the story of Master Corporal Paul Franklin's journey back from Afghanistan after his vehicle was struck by a suicide bomb. It is also the story of a hero, even if he doesn't consider himself one. Lying on a dusty street Paul stared down at his ruined legs and remembered the promise he'd made to his wife "I will come home" Now he's faced with an even more challenging task then the Taliban, that of rebuilding a new life and learning to walk on two artificial legs.
THE LONG WALK HOME is an inspiring story of strength and courage encompassing not only Paul's personal struggles but those of his wife and young son as well. In the books one year span we travel from the war in Afghanistan to the American medical hospital in Germany and back to Edmonton where after several more surgeries Paul begins his rehabilitation. Author Liane Faulder interviews family, friends, doctors and physiotherapists throughout Paul's recovery and gives us a moving and very personal account of Paul's re-birth year.
We begin in 2006 with Master Cpl Franklin walking his son to school 4 months after the accident. It's a distance of 6 hundred meters and takes just over half an hour but this is a huge accomplishment. Both of Paul's legs have been amputated above the knee and after repeatedly being told he'd never walk again Paul's beat the odds and proved them wrong. The book then jumps around a bit as the author gives us back story on Paul's military career and family life before depositing us in the bombed ruins of his G-wagon.
We're then with his wife Audra as she receives "the call" and subsequently travels to Germany. This is as much her story as his and I was awed by the strength of military spouses. We are faced with some gruelling hospital scenes as everyone comes to terms with a new normal and Paul's agonizing Valentines Day decision regarding his remaining right leg broke my heart. Because Paul and the three others in his vehicle contained the first dead or wounded Canadians in Afghanistan a media circus immediately envelopes the Franklin family who decide instead of hiding they will become the new face of the military, handling it all with stoic grace and determination.
I really enjoyed this book and count myself lucky that we have people like Paul Franklin who are willing to sacrifice without question or regret. In a quote from the last page of the book Paul states that he's left something behind in Afghanistan and doesn't know what it is. He still feels like something is missing, something besides his legs, something inside of him. "I'd love to go back and I don't know why?" ...more
4.5~ Wow, this was one of those short sneaky books that you devour in a day and then can’t stop thinking abOpening line:“I have always loved my wife.”
4.5~ Wow, this was one of those short sneaky books that you devour in a day and then can’t stop thinking about. At about 130 pages SUNRISE ON KUSATSU HARBOUR has a huge story to tell and with about 200 more pages it would have been an epic read. As it stands though it felt rushed and important events that I would love to have read about in greater detail were glazed over. However the narration style almost dictates this as it is the retelling of a story from a third person and the underlying message does still manage to shine thorough.
Sunrise is a frightening, tragic and haunting story of star crossed lovers. Encompassing love and hate, revenge and prejudice but most of all forgiveness. It’s a small book with a big message and a twist at the end that will really leave you wondering. I also think that this book would make for a fantastic movie, regardless I’m just glad I found it.
We begin with a man finding a video tape at a garage sale. Instead of the tape containing the movie he was expecting it instead shows the confession of an older Japanese man. And so our story begins with the writer of this tale telling us Meiko’s story via the video diary. Taking us back to Japan during the 2nd world war where we watch a young couple fall in love and make plans for a promising future together. One fateful day our hero Meiko is called to serve in the army, he pledges his undying love to his girlfriend Tori on Kusatsu beach, vowing to always be true to her and return and get married as soon as Japan wins the war. Meiko then leaves his peaceful village in Hiroshima to help create biological weapons for the war effort.
So, now that we know where they are, we all know what’s coming next and it was very interesting to see life from the other side of the war. On the day the US drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Tori is in Kusatsu harbour, missing her man. The blast knocks her from the beach and into the ocean saving her life. However everyone and everything else she has ever known is now gone. Deciding that she must try to find Meiko, Tori then travels many hundred miles to where he is stationed in Nagasaki only to learn that just the day before Meiko went AWOL and is now trying to find her back in Hiroshima.
That is when the 2nd bomb drops on Nagasaki, leaving Tori alive but horribly burned and disfigured. She is hospitalized for a long time. Meanwhile Meiko has of course not been able to find his true love and can only assume that she is dead. When the Emperor of Japan surrenders Meiko makes his plans for revenge, sailing out of Kusatsu harbour on a boat bound for America. Little does he know that the figure watching from Kusatsu beach is his Tori. As I said this a star crossed lover’s story and our couple cross paths many times before finally meeting again far away and under unusual and fateful circumstances. For such a short read this book is decades in it’s telling with Meiko paying a huge cost for his revenge. Not easily forgotten. ...more
Opening Line: “It’s only half an hour since someone-Robyn I think- said we should write everything down, and it’s only twenty-nine minutes since I wasOpening Line: “It’s only half an hour since someone-Robyn I think- said we should write everything down, and it’s only twenty-nine minutes since I was chosen, and for those twenty-nine minutes I’ve had everyone crowded around me gazing at the blank pages and yelling ideas and advice.”
This was very good and had I read it when I was a teenager I know I would have loved it. Back in the day this would have been comparable to The Outsiders or the movie Red Dawn *sigh* young Patrick Swayze. I’ve actually heard this compared to Red Dawn quite a bit but other than a couple of major plot points it’s a very different story.
I loved that this takes place in rural Australia (including all the Aussie slang) and the Australian bush almost becomes a character of its own here. I loved the magic of the teens ascending “Satan’s steps” and finding “Hell” Their own private world in all its secluded beauty, far away from civilization, parents and rules. The excitement of their camping trip and the discovery of this hidden place along with the mystery of the hermit were my favourite parts. These are the things I would have loved as a teen reader- well that and all the sneaking around evading the bad guys, driving heavy equipment and blowing shit up -the action scenes are really quite awesome. There’s a bit of awkward romance here but for the most part this is just one great action adventure, I just wish I’d read it 20 (yeah, okay 25) years ago.
When The War Began is the first book from the “Tomorrow” series and the author obviously knew from the onset that this was going to be a series because the ending is left wide open without any real conclusion, in fact the reader is left hanging. I just mention this because you might want to have book 2 (The Dead of Night) handy when you start.
This is written from Ellie’s POV and in the first chapter she explains why she and her friends felt it important to start writing everything down. For them it means that one day they might be remembered because their world has already changed forever. Then she takes us back to the beginning of their story.
It’s the Christmas holidays in an undisclosed rural area of Australia. Ellie and her six friends have decided to go camping for a week instead of attending the annual fair at the showgrounds in Wirrawee. Most of the group was raised on farms, which is important here because they are a tougher breed; able to use a rifle, drive trucks and motorcycles, move stock, deal with a snake bite etc. Anyways, after a lazy week in the bush our group return to Ellie’s family property, which is the closest and soon realize that something is terribly wrong. The first things they notice are the dead animals and that the power is out, the radio is only picking up static. Where are her parents?
Heading to the other teens homes they find more of the same, everyone is just gone. Could it have anything to do with the V-shaped lines of jets that flew overhead for what seemed like hours the other night? Gradually they come to learn that their country has been invaded and soldiers are holding everyone from the district POW style at the fairgrounds in town. Our group then faces a startling decision, they can flee to their oasis in the mountains or they can fight back.
The author cleverly never gives a nationality to the enemy. They are just nondescript soldiers, wearing unremarkable uniforms, speaking a foreign language. This I liked very much. Cheers.
Opening Line: "The day my life changed started out like any other."
So I have to admit this was surprisingly good. Surprising because I’m not anywhereOpening Line: "The day my life changed started out like any other."
So I have to admit this was surprisingly good. Surprising because I’m not anywhere near the demographic the book is aiming at. For starters I’m far (far) from being a YA (although admittedly I do sometimes still act like it) I’ve never read any of the books from L.J Smith’s original series and I’m only a casual fan of the TV show. (Oh, but those Salvatore boys are yummy to look at) However Stefan’s Dairies was a great read and stands perfectly fine on its own, completely separate from either series, except of course for using the same characters and town setting.
Based on historical flashbacks shown briefly in the TV series, here we get to go back to the “origin” of the Salvatore brothers, set during the civil war before they became vampires. The writing is simple but the story is complete and very good with elements of suspense and romance throughout; Stefan trying to live up to his fathers expectations, young love and the jealousy yet unbreakable bond between two brothers as they vie for the same mysterious woman.
I wouldn’t have any trouble recommending this to anyone (of any age) who enjoys historical romances as it can easily be read as a stand alone without ever having seen the TV show or reading the original series. However it is pretty nice to be able to use Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder as visual references :)
Its 1864 and seventeen year old Stefan Salvatore has just proposed marriage to a girl he doesn’t love. As his overbearing father grooms him to take over the family estate his wayward brother Damon returns from the still raging Civil war and a beautiful girl named Katherine moves into the carriage house. Recently orphaned Katherine is everything his betrothed is not; seductive and mischievous she also harbours a grave secret and has fully captured the attention of both Salvatore brothers. When strange killings begin to occur within the town, Stefan’s father organizes a lynch mob to track down the killers. It seems there be vampires in Mystic Falls. Cheers...more
Opening Line: “O’Byrne and the men of Battle Company arrived in the last week of May when the rivers were running full and the upper peaks still heldOpening Line: “O’Byrne and the men of Battle Company arrived in the last week of May when the rivers were running full and the upper peaks still held snow.”
Great cover on this, a haunting image and an equally powerful read. Written by Sabastian Junger (of The Perfect Storm fame) In WAR he spends 15 months following a single platoon based at a remote outpost in Eastern Afghanistan. His objective is simple, to convey what soldiers experience, what war actually feels like.
Divided into 3 “books”: Fear, Killing, and Love from the very first pages you are dropped right onto into the thick of it. Arriving on a remote hilltop in one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous outposts in the Korengal Valley. Here Junger gives insight into the truths of combat, how these soldiers live and what they see. He describes things that few civilians will ever witness or go through; the fear, the anticipation, the honor and the trust among men. Their outpost is inaccessible, hot, hilly, remote and mortally dangerous. It’s also home to (as I’ve come to understand) the ultimate testosterone filled boys club.
As with The Perfect Storm this is not so much a story or novel but a series of events (patrols/battles) tied together with the mechanics of war. How fast bullets travel, military strategy & history, studies on fear and courage and body armour. Lots of things you didn’t know you wanted to know. Junger also manages to get some fairly intimate stories from the men; and you do get a feel for them as they describe what it means to fight, why they’re serving, how they deal with boredom interspaced with sheer adrenaline, chaos and terror and how life will never be more pure or sharp than in that moment when there’s a good chance that you could die.
Between the sounds of gunfire and the agony of loss there are also some surprisingly funny moments, the jocularity and bromance of these guys who may not even like each other but would also die for their “brothers” It is the ultimate commitment not so much to their job but to each other.
Junger does spend some time (at the beginning and end) describing how the men are adjusting back to civilian life and I wish I could say something positive about that.
WAR is gritty, raw, eye opening, funny, adrenaline charged, futile and heartfelt. ...more
Opening line: “It screamed downward, splitting air and sky without effort.”
A few years ago while I was travelling in Europe I met a guy from SarajevoOpening line: “It screamed downward, splitting air and sky without effort.”
A few years ago while I was travelling in Europe I met a guy from Sarajevo and we became friends. At one point he asked me if I knew anything about what had happened in his country. I replied that I knew very little, only what I'd seen on the news. Sasha laughed and never said another word on the subject, which at the time I found strange. Now I know why, what could he possibly say that I'd understand?
This is a beautifully written, haunting and thought provoking story that I only wish I could say I liked more. Because it is so well done I also found it painful to read, depressing, absolutely futile and leaving me feeling angry at the whole world. Which I guess is the point and the ultimate result of any war.
I think what surprised me most is how little I knew about this conflict especially when you consider that it happened between 1992 and 1996. I mean that’s not that long ago and it’s not like this happened in a third world country either, this was modern Europe. I just finished reading a book set during the Second World War about the siege of Leningrad and this reads almost the same. How is that possible? How was this even allowed to happen?
Inspired by a real event this novel follows the lives of an unnamed cellist along with three others trying to survive in a besieged, war torn Sarajevo. It begins in the midst of a country gone mad, a mortar attack has just killed 22 people waiting in line to buy bread. Our cellist decides that to honour the dead for the next 22 days he will play at the point of impact. At 4 o’clock he dons his ragged tuxedo, sits in the bomb crater and plays. This simple courageous act creates a moment of peace and beauty among the rubble it also makes him a target.
Meanwhile a female sniper named “Arrow” is ordered to keep the cellist alive. Crouched from her perch in a bombed out building she waits for the counter-sniper who has surely been sent to kill him. She remembers back to a time when she went to college and flirted with boys at nightclubs and wonders how her life has became this?
The two other characters we follow disturbed me the most; An elderly baker on his way to work on his day off to get his daily ration of bread and a father making the long trek to “the brewery” to collect water for his family. A simple walk through the remains of the city has become a perilous journey. Mortars fall and the “men on the hill” go about their deadly business. Nobody is safe. Crossing the street had become a game of “Serajavan roulette” as the snipers pick off pedestrians. Should I cross now? Should I walk, run, crouch, crawl, go with a group? How do they decide who to shoot? But you need water and you have to eat. You have to make it across the intersection to keep your family alive.
These two men show us the city of Sarajevo as they walk through its remains and it very much becomes a character of its own here. The city shows us beauty and resilience and the men show us bravery, paralysing fear and humanity....more
Wow, what a brilliant book, another near 5 star read from JoJo Moyes, damn can this woman ever drop me into her stories.
I loved, loved, loved the firsWow, what a brilliant book, another near 5 star read from JoJo Moyes, damn can this woman ever drop me into her stories.
I loved, loved, loved the first part of this book which takes place in 1916 German occupied France (an apparently largely unrecorded corner of First World War history) I mean I was right there with our heroine Sophie and her family at their hotel La Coq Rouge. I could hear the German soldier’s boots marching by on the cobbled streets, I was anguished by the decisions she was forced to make, and I felt her hunger, anxiety, and the cold.
I feared for her husband fighting on the front lines and laughed with the rest of the townsfolk at the “pig baby.” And when the Kommandant started to show an interest in Sophie and the portrait her husband had painted of her I knew nothing good would come of their “arrangement” but I also didn’t expect the brutal reality of what did happen. I’m totally rambling here but this was just so good.
I was jarred back to reality when in Part 2 the book switched to 2006 London. Suddenly I’m reading texts and e-mails, riding in cabs, swearing and drinking too much wine in gay bars. It was like starting another book altogether and honestly it took me a while to get with the program, to get into Liv’s equally heartbreaking story.
I eventually did find Liv almost as interesting as Sophie as she struggles with the death of her husband and tries to hang onto the painting he bought her on their honeymoon. The painting that “TARP” is now trying to get her to return to its rightful owners as it has been earmarked as stolen by the Nazi’s. Liv was also put in an impossible situation by circumstances beyond her control and then to have the awesomely played twist of who her new boyfriend Paul is as well.
Towards the end there is a court case and the story seemed to waffle a bit and go on (and on) but I loved the outcome, especially when we get to see a glimpse of a quiet, reserved couple living in the Swiss Alps. That made me smile. Pretty excellent all in.
Moyes is a definite auto buy and I can’t wait to see what adventures await from her back list. Cheers.
Opening Line: “Tom swung his duffle bag down from the overhead rack and shuffled slowly with the other passengers off the commercial flight and out inOpening Line: “Tom swung his duffle bag down from the overhead rack and shuffled slowly with the other passengers off the commercial flight and out into Boston’s Logan airport.”
This was pretty good, but I wanted to like it a whole lot more than I actually did. The story premise had me excited and the cover is great but the exThis was pretty good, but I wanted to like it a whole lot more than I actually did. The story premise had me excited and the cover is great but the execution was just all over the place, with too many story ideas all thrown together so that ultimately none of them really work. I’ve also yet to figure out what this book was trying to be; a murder mystery, a child custody story, a military memoir, a PTSD recovery, a legal thriller? It’s all of these things.
And while I’m new to author Lisa Scottoline I’d still been expecting more, or maybe just a more polished story from a “bestselling” author. As it was this felt like a first book, with immature writing and stilted, repetitive, painful dialogue that I struggled to get through without rolling my eyes. There are also several obviously placed red herrings throughout and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually read mysteries, but I was often like, yeah that’s probably a bad idea.
That’s not to say this was entirely terrible, mostly just disappointing because it had so much promise and so many good ideas.
Don’t Go starts with our main characters wife dying on her kitchen from a knife wound, (this is not a spoiler) someone comes to the door but instead of helping they leave. We then switch over to our main character Dr. Mike Scanlon, who is a serving as an army doctor in Afghanistan. I really enjoyed the army sections of this book (which take up a large section) they’re obviously been well researched and you get a real feel for the living conditions, the surgeries, the comradely with the other doctors and the hardships and horror.
So while Mike is operating on a wounded soldier his wife dies and within 24hrs he finds himself back in America trying to figure out what happened and how exactly he is going to care for a baby who was only a month old when he deployed and now doesn’t know him and screams at the very sight of him. He also discovers that the medical practice he took leave from is in jeopardy and that his wife was not only a closeted alcoholic but having an affair…
So what does Mike do? He signs some papers that give his sister-in-law and her husband temporary guardianship of his daughter and goes back to finish his tour in Afghanistan. This part lost me a bit; I mean wouldn’t the military have granted him some kind of compassionate leave?? Anyways I can’t say much else without getting heavily into spoiler territory but some bad stuff happens to Mike and the second half of the book is spent with him solving his wife’s death/murder, making bad decisions and trying to piece his life back together because nothing was as it seemed.
Definitely an emotional, compelling read with more military issues that I expected, well there was more everything than I expected LOL. I did like the character of Dr. Mike even if he was a bit stupid in his actions. Can’t say that I would actively seek out anything else from this author though. Cheers. ~3.5~ 415jb35...more