I'll admit that I've never heard of German Petra Durst-Benning before, and was expecting a typical historical novel: a lot of history with a daub of rI'll admit that I've never heard of German Petra Durst-Benning before, and was expecting a typical historical novel: a lot of history with a daub of romance. But what I got with The Glassblower was a great story that I couldn't put down! I had no idea that glassblowing was so intricate and is considered a man's domain. That might be because I'm an American woman and all things are possible for each one of us.
The stories of Ruth, Marie, and Johanna Steinmann are both compelling and urgent as the reader wants to know how "the women who rules the roost" will survive when their father, Joost, dies unexpectedly. Johanna is the practical one and seeks employment with her father's old wholesaler. Everything is working out fine until it doesn't. Ruth has her eyes on one of Heimer sons. After all Herr Heimer is the wealthiest glassblower in Lauscha. But it is the quiet middle sister, Marie, that will be the sisters' salvation. The artistic young woman will break the glass ceiling by creating her own designs and blowing the glass herself.
I was anxious to read The Girl in the Spider's Web for two reasons: 1. I love Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist and 2. Stieg Larsson didn't write it, David Lagercrantz did. Most of the novels in several series I've read after the original creator that penned the prior series novels are down right awful. So to my delighted surprise, The Girl in the Spider's Web stayed true to Stieg Larsson"s Millennium Triology. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist both sound and act the same way as Larsson wrote them, with 1 little minor detail wrong - I don't remember Blomkvist ever calling Erika Berger "Ricky." And I looked in all 3 books. Another mild criticism is that David Lagercrantz went slightly over my willingness to suspend disbelief in a couple of small scenes. These little "offenses" brought my rating down a half star.
Lisbeth Salander awakes to a dream. A dream of a fist pounding a bed. Then she begins to type upon her computer. She finishes Ed the Ned's sentence. Ed Needham is speechless. There is no way the NSA can be hacked! But before his eyes is the evidence. But Wasp isn't showing off, she has reasons to lead the security analyst down her trails leading to "Thanos," Zala, and the Spiders.
Frans Balder is scared. His life's work is in jeopardy, as is life. His former employer stole his AI program. The new Video game is proof of that, but selling it to the Russian Duma and the criminal Spider Society is horrific. He's carried Artificial Intelligence to the highest level to date. In the wrong hands, his work could be used to eliminate...His son, August, must be protected at all costs. His Autistic son. So he calls Mikael Blomkvist in the wee hours of the morning. Blomkvist is willing to meet with Balder for two reasons. He knows that Balder used a female hacker that is likely to have been Salander, and Millennium is in financial trouble.
Blomkvist arrives just as Belder is murdered. He sees a little boy with glassy eyes banging his head against the bed's head board. The child has seen the killer. The killer who has a small spider patch on his jacket. He is part of Thanos' Spider Society who wants to destroy the sisterhood of the Wasp. Thanos is after the boy as well as Lisbeth Salander. Can she keep herself alive while protecting August? She knows who Thanos is. They've battled before. And which one will walk away this time?
Like Larsson, Lagercrantz pumps up the suspense from the 1st page and never eases up until the very end. Each chapter has multiple POVs that pumps the tension and suspense as the various scenes pushes the story line along. Yes, I say pushes because I felt like I was in a fast moving wagon that was directly locomative. There are the expected turns and twists, then more unexpected twists and turns. I can't reveal any more of the plot, because I'd ruin the whole novel for those who've not read The Girl in the Spider's Web. I was hooked and spent the whole night reading. If David Lagercrantz writes another Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist novel, you can bet your last dollar I will read it!...more
Finally! I patiently awaited this 7th installment of Jonathon King"s Max Freeman Series with great anticipation. And with good reason, my cynical loner Max is back! King really built the suspense in Don't Lose Her and never let up until the very last word. The Epitaph indicates the story line might not be finished. I love it! Hopefully the 8th in the series is being written as I write this review. Billy Manchester becomes more human too, willing to break the rules like Max. After all it is his wife and unborn child's life at stake.
Federal Judge Diane Manchester is hearing an extradition case involving the worst drug lord Columbia and the US have seen in a while. Soon after the defendant made a veiled threat toward her and her baby in court, Manchester is literally grabbed up from the Palm Beach street while she's walking to a cafe for lunch. Max answers Billy's call to find and rescue Diane. But things are never as they seem, aren't they? The Drug Cartel may not have kidnapped Diane. If it wasn't the cartel, then who and why?
Armed with 100K of walking money, Max follows leads throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. Eventually the trail leads him to the Everglades, and like Diane Manchester says while looking out of a window,"You're screwed. Max knows the Glades and you'll get hurt." But will Freeman get to Diane in time? The FIB's are always right behind him and are constantly demanding that Freeman be debriefed.
I loved the way King moved the story line by several POVs - Diane's,. a kidnapper's, Billy's, and Max's. This built the suspense and pacing brilliantly
It's National Library Week in Athena, MS. And Teresa and Charlie have decided to honor the old teen mystery series, like Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and others. But the centre display is all about Veronica Thane and her series creator - Electra Barnes Cartwright. When Charlie discovers that the author is still alive and living near Athena, he, Diesel, and Teresa drive out to meet her. And she agrees to appear at the Athena Library.
Now this news brings out several collectors, a publisher, her agent and EBC's Newsletter Editor. They are all are a little bellicose, obnoxious, and willing to do anything to add to their collection, even murder, especially when 5 unpublished manuscripts are found. Even Cartwright is not very pleasant. But what do you expect from a southern woman who is about to turn 100? Charlie and Diesel are on the case at his friend's, Melba Gilley, request. And Kanesha Berry isn't all that disturbed with Charlie's investigation this time. With EBC's Character- Veronica Thane's help, Charlie will reveal the killer's identity.
What's different about this installment is James' tribute to the YR detectives and procedures. And there's not much of that Southern "shade" being thrown. A very quick read and again I was surprised at "whodunit"! ...more
Oh my! Charlie is cringing in his own living room while the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity are verbily battling over where the upcoming Friends of thOh my! Charlie is cringing in his own living room while the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity are verbily battling over where the upcoming Friends of the Library Gala is to held. Seeing and hearing the vitriol coming from the wealthiest ladies in Athena MS has him in a mute stupor and wishing he'd never become a Friends of the Library board member. An'gel and Dickce Ducote yet again outmaneuvered Vera and hand Charlie his engraved invitation. The Gala is always held ate their home. Vera is livid. She goes to Charlie's office and requests to see the Ducote's papers and letters. Charlie must decline because the Ducote materials are sealed, and Miz Cassity must get permission from the Ducote sisters or their lawyer. Again Vera Cassity becomes viciously bellicose and threatens Charlie, his boarder - Justin, and Diesel.
Charlie finally sees why everyone in Athena loathe the Cassity woman. Even his housekeeper, Azalea Berry, hates the woman. She tells Charlie if "that woman comes into this house again, I quit." Charlie is taken aback. He's never seen Azalea this upset and angry. But he soon will discover how angry Vera has made someone. At the Gala Vera is found dead on a stair case landing and Azalea saw her being pushed by a person in the shadows. Not only is Vera out of public charity life, she is permanently out of circulation. And Azalea is Sheriff Tidwell's prime suspect! Both the Ducote sisters and Chief Deputy Kanesha Bell ask Charlie to investigate the murder much to his surprise. Finding the killer won't be easy, everyone in Athena would have liked to seen Vera Cassity dead. And Charli and Diesel will learn a few secrets about Athena's oldest and richest families.
Again, James kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. There are few red herrings dropped here and there. But don't be fooled about who the killer is because there is a mini-mystery within the who-dun-it story line. Another delightful read! ...more
Debbie Macomber adds more depth to this installment of her newest series Rose Harbor Series both in content and in her narrative telling of the storyDebbie Macomber adds more depth to this installment of her newest series Rose Harbor Series both in content and in her narrative telling of the story in Silver Linings. Told in the 1st person perspective, Jo Marie Rose wonders if her Inn truly has the healing powers that she believed to be true, since her latest guests left downhearted and Mark Taylor has left Cedar Cove taking her heart with him. She has finally found love in another man that is not Paul. His cryptic statement that her husband Paul was truly a hero and that he, Mark, is a coward who should've died instead He must leave Cedar Cove and her to dig himself out of a black hole. Only after he's gone does Jo Marie learn why and fears for Mark because he has put himself in grave danger.
Macomber then uses the 3rd person perspective to tell the story of the two young women, Coco and Katie, who have return to Cedar Cove for their tenth high school reunion. Coco wants to confront the boy who betrayed and humiliated her in their senior year. That experience has left her with trust issues with men. Katie, on the other hand wants to reconnect with her first love. But James had made it very clear that her attempts to reach out to him are unwanted to say the least. Both learn that people do change in ten years and leave Rose Harbor Inn a bit bemused and very down.
But what is different is Macomber continues the three women's stories after that weekend and that made their story more compelling. She usually wraps up all of the loose threads leading to a happy ending before the guests check out. Not all of the women in Silver Linings get that happy ending - one is making a long term reservation to stay at Rose Harbor. And what about Mark Taylor? I guess I'll have to wait until the next installment to find out. ...more
Wow! I finished The House at Riverton a few days ago and I'm still trying to process my emotions about the noveWish I could give it 10 Stars
Wow! I finished The House at Riverton a few days ago and I'm still trying to process my emotions about the novel. I loved, loved it since I gave the book the highest rating that exists here, but my emotions are still roiling. An omission of truth led to tragic consequences. But great British Gothic stories are almost always tragic, aren't they? I loved how Kate Morton paid homage to one of my favorite novels, Rebecca, Upstairs, Downstairs even my favorite drama, Downton Abbey and the The House of Mitford. I knew this fact before I read the authors answers in the novel's Q and A. And Kate Morton does a wonderful job of blending these influences to perfection.
Morton's style reminds me of Daphne du Maurier, easy to read but powerful. She develops the characters so well, that I sometimes forgot that they are fictional. I'd love to meet every one of them, even Mr. Hamilton. She accurately depicts the Edwardian Era and her vivid description of Riverton made me feel that I was actually there with Grace and the Hartfords.
Some reveiwers did not enjoy Morton's use of flashbacks, tapes, and letters. I did - I don't think Grace's story could have been told any other way. We readers too become archeologists peeling back layers upon layers to find out what happened on that dark, pivotal night by the lake when a young poet died and a family was forever changed.
A young film maker is doing a bio-pic of the Hartfords and Riverton. She learns that Grace Bradley was a servant at The House at Riverton and may know what happened the night that the young poet R. S. Hunter committed suicide. Of course the 98 year old Dr. Grace Bradley knows exactly what happened - she was there! And she knows the why. Will she tell Ursala? She does tell, but whom? But first Grace must tell what led up to "the crossing the Rubicon". It started when she was 14 and entered service to the Hartford's at The House at Riverton in 1914. ...more
Franklin Brand is back. The Franklin Brand that took Jesse's ability to walk and killed his buddy. He confesses to Evan that he's still stuck there inFranklin Brand is back. The Franklin Brand that took Jesse's ability to walk and killed his buddy. He confesses to Evan that he's still stuck there in Mission Canyon. He can't move to comfort his swimming mate as he lay dying. More memories are coming back and he's being blackmailed all within 9 weeks of his and Evan's wedding.
A couple claiming to be ex-CIA want to hire Evan to ghostwrite their memoirs. She senses something off putting about the couple. She's right. They are part of what happened to Jesse up in Mission Canyon. Her friend is legal counsel for Mako, the company that Brand worked for, is acting weird. The CEO made right toward Jesse, but something is rotten within Mako headquarters, and as Evan and Jesse seek justice for Brand more bodies turn up. What is Mako up to? And why did they (and still do) want Blackburn and another buddy dead?
Again, Meg Gardiner writes a fast paced suspenseful novel. There a few scenes that really stretch suspension of disbelief, but her full characterization of Evan and Jesse in China Lake and this sophomoric installment will allow that suspension of disbelief. Another recommended read. ...more
Big Little Lies will make you laugh, cry, and angry, because the little lies are outrageous. It is something I've never read before: a who's-gonna-getBig Little Lies will make you laugh, cry, and angry, because the little lies are outrageous. It is something I've never read before: a who's-gonna-get-it meets coming of age. Yes, the parents do grow up. The writing is wonderful. Each woman has her unique voice and problems - "Oh, calamity!" In between the changing POV Liane Moriarty adds some juicy school parent gossip that furthered the story line - a parent dies on Trivia Night. We readers know that the chain of events begin when Madeline falls in the street and new school mom, Jane gives her a ride to kindy orientation day. Jane's 5 year old boy is accused of bullying a little girl. Battle lines are drawn.
Madeline, Jane, and Celeste among others are on Ziggy's side vs. The Blond Bobs and the little girl's mummy.
There are a few serious issues running through the novel, and Moriaty makes them work with her prose and easy writing style. To say more about the plot and subplots would ruin this wonderful book. I highly recommend Big Little Lies. ...more
I had to get some emotional distance before sharing my thoughts on The Bell Jar. I read this in high school many years ago and I remember thinking howI had to get some emotional distance before sharing my thoughts on The Bell Jar. I read this in high school many years ago and I remember thinking how anyone could feel as if a bell jar has suddenly descended upon their soul or psyche. But after I experienced a few traumatic events in my own life, I understand how Plath could feel that desolation and despair. While I was able to bounce back from my painful experiences, Plath could not - she committed suicide at the young age of 30.
Such a gifted writer and poet she was! She had a wonderful gift of language and imagery in her writings. Her poems are magnificent. In The Bell Jar, I think as Esther (and Plath) received awards upon more awards, her expectations for and of herself were so lofty; there was only one way to go - downwards. And that was the shear shame of Plath's life. She never lived long enough to see the appreciation of her readers of her work! ...more
I debated whether to give this 4 Stars because I really enjoyed the novel, but it was slow in parts. Then I remembered that Greg Iles is a S3.75 Stars
I debated whether to give this 4 Stars because I really enjoyed the novel, but it was slow in parts. Then I remembered that Greg Iles is a Southern Writer. He takes his time. And that is not a bad thing. But for a mystery, I prefer more of a fast pace that keeps me up at night turning pages. Though in some scenes I did turn the pages quickly, sometimes holding my breath thinking 35 years isn't long enough for Penn Cage to re-open a murder that has the hallmarks of being a civil rights murder. Del Payton was killed in between MLK and Bobby Kennedy in 1968.
Payton was involved with the movement, and was promoted to a job that had been for "whites only." He was considered "uppity" by 1968 Natchez MS white population. Cage had returned home to Natchez hoping it's serenity and his parents could help his 4 year old daughter, Annie, with her grief of losing her mother - Penn's beloved, Sara. But statements he said off the record during an interview with Natchez's newspaper has blown up the small MS city. And Livy Marsden is back in town, too complicating Cage's life as well as the case.
As Penn decides whether to take the case, he finds out that Livy's father - Judge Leo Marsden - is involved, he's full steam ahead. He will destroy the Judge, as Marsden tried to destroy Penn's father years ago. What Penn Cage finds is corruption and every one attached to the case is playing "the quiet game." As people talk, people die. To win the case and find justice for Del Payton, he must play "the quiet game" and live. ...more
Peter Pan lives if you believe; just look and wish upon the Second Star To The Right. Faye O'Neill and her two young children arrive in Londo4.5 Stars
Peter Pan lives if you believe; just look and wish upon the Second Star To The Right. Faye O'Neill and her two young children arrive in London. They are quite subdued. Faye's divorce has had quite the effect upon all three of them. She's not the same confident woman she was before marrying Rob O'Neill. Six year old Tom has not spoken a word in over a year after...
Maddie is precocious. She is bossy with a heart of Gold yearning to be safe and loved. She is very protective of her mum and younger brother. No. 14 just may be what the Doctor ordered. No. 14 is where Wendy Forrester lives up in the Nursery that looks amazingly like Wendy Darling's. And the old woman truly believes that she is THE Wendy. Her daughter sternly tells the O'Neill's that they are not to disturb the old lady. Do they listen? Nah! And that's the magic of the story, or at least part of it.
The other part of the story is in the 2nd flat. Jack Graham is a very handsome world renown scientist and loves the house and ol' "Crazy Wendy." He himself is a Lost Boy. (Peter Pan's Lost Boys? Maybe, maybe not.) When you believe, anything is possible! Can this old house with the overgrown garden that the children clean up with the smiling Peter Pan fountain heal two broken adults and two frighten and sad children? Believe, and wish upon the second star to the right and you'll too will begin to hear a flute and see a small ball of light flying throughout No.14 in London.
I just loved this novel! Mary Alice Monroe has brought Peter Pan's magic to the novel, but not in an overt way. I laughed and cried in various parts and when it ended, my heart was swollen with joy! ...more
The island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's posThe island of Bora, Bora during WWII, a well hidden bungalow that the islanders believe is cursed - considering the painter whom dwelt there, it's possible - a soldier who is neither an officer nor a gentleman, a murder, a baby, and an ill fated love affair. What more does this reader want? Not a thing! I loved, loved this novel! It will rest in my heart until I decide to read it once again.
Sarah Jio's writing had me at various times: chuckling, out right crying, and holding my breath. I hated that it ended; I could have stayed with Anne and Westry for a while longer. At times Jio's prose sung and my emotions ebbed and flowed with the story.
The characters are wonderful, even the loathsome Kitty. My heart wept for Atea, "Cleo", and "Grayson". I loved the ending - it was what should have happened - "Cleo, you're a little late." Just as I was to read this delightful novel that had sat on my shelf waiting for me.
While this installment is not my favorite in the Cedar Cove Series, I did enjoy 1022 Evergreen Place. It is becoming clear that Debbie Macomber wants to end this delightful series, because she packs many details and people in this installment, trying to tie up many loose ends. Faith and Troy, Will and Shirley to name a few. Olivia is getting better. Oh will I miss Cedar Cove! I've read The Inn at Rose Harbor but I love catching up with these characters in this series!
Linc and Lori are adorable and I love both James and Christie. They make a significant appearance in this installment, but I'd like them to have a separate novel - 13 & 14. But getting back to Mary Jo Wyse and Mack McAfee. Mary Jo realizes that she is falling for Mack. Mack is having doubts about Mary Jo - she broke off their engagement earlier and he doesn't know how to show her that he loves her. Noelle is a bonus to that love he feels for Mary Jo. The letters from a soldier to his beloved girl are proving the perfect distraction for the couple - and they will finally get answers to whom the couple is. Mary Jo's brother Linc is happy married to Lori. He's even setting up another shop in Cedar Cove unless Lori's father decides otherwise. Rachel Peyton is pregnant. Bruce is very happy, his daughter Jolene is not. Trouble is brewing on Yakima Street. I'll have to visit 1105 Yakima soon....more
Alyson Richman says in her Note that she wanted to tell the story of an artist surviving the Holocaust. Then she heard of a story in which an old coupAlyson Richman says in her Note that she wanted to tell the story of an artist surviving the Holocaust. Then she heard of a story in which an old couple that had married before WWII who lost each other, then again found the other one at their grand childrens' wedding. Thus began the stories of Lenka and Josef. The writing is exquisite, poetic at times. I smiled as they got married, angry when Lenka stayed in Czechoslovakia, and cried in different parts of both their stories. The ending was so beautiful - I was sobbing with joy. Not many of us get a second chance. Will Josef and Lenka take it? Read to find out.
Just imagine you are at your grand daughter's reception. Your sleeve has risen a little, exposing a blue numbered tattoo. But the old man isn't seeing the blue ink, he's seeing your birthmark. He speaks softly, "Lenka, you don't recognize your husband?" Slowly you fill in the grey hair with black and soften the lines in his face, and you think back 60 years. This is how Lenka and Josef's story begins.
It's so hard to describe the novel without giving much of the story away. So, I tease you with some of my favorite passages.
I am in love with a shadow. I look for her in the darkness of the hallway. I search for her in the eyes of the old women crossing the street...[Lenka] still haunts me like a lioness, a cat with piercing eyes. Over sixty years have past and her shadow still walks beside me. Her shadow stretching long and black - waiting for me to reach for her - waiting for me to extend my hand."
But in order to survive in this foreign world, I had to teach myself that love is very much like a painting. The negative space between people was just as important as the positive space we occupy. The air between our resting bodies, and the breath in between our conversations, were all like the white of the canvas, and the rest of our relationship - the laughter and the memories - were the brushstrokes applied over time
Nelson DeMille has created a wonderful character - John Corey! "I think I'm in love." Corey isn't your usual loner, introverted, and serious4.5 Stars
Nelson DeMille has created a wonderful character - John Corey! "I think I'm in love." Corey isn't your usual loner, introverted, and serious dark homicide detective. He's snarky. He's smart mouthed. He's juvenile. He appears to be a bumbling idiot just like Peter Falk's character - Columbo. He's smart and is narcissistic, but I loved him! Being in his head for over 600 pages was fun and I've never laughed so hard during a novel in a long time, even though the plot line was serious, deadly serious.
Tom and Judy Gorgon are good friends of convalescing NYPD Detective John Corey. They are beautiful. They are brilliant. They work on Plum Island. Apparently, they are also thieves, since they're also very dead. Both shot in the head on their deck as they were climbing from their Formula 300 at the dock. Their big silver cooler is missing from their boat. A Jolly Roger flag and signal pennants are flying. Could they have stolen an animal virus from Plum Island that bad guys could weaponize? Suits from the Alphabet Departments have decided the cover story - the Doctors Gordon stole a vaccine that rightly belongs to the U.S. Government to sell or go with them to a private sector pharmaceutical company. John Corey doesn't believe either of these theories and is determined to find out what happened to his friends. Thank goodness he's been asked to consult on the case. Then he's fired. But why? And by whom? At whose suggestion? Does Corey drop the case? Of course not.
I loved Nelson DeMille slow build up of the mystery. He gives you a few red herrings and several twists and turns. He does a great job of building characters, both the minor and major ones. He uses the first person POV and it was a treat and hoot to be in John Corey's head. I definitely must read the rest of the John Corey Series! And I recommend readers who love Thrillers do the same. ...more
A good book for an afternoon at the beach! I loved the characters - a group of friends that either live or summered at Stoney Point Beach with an exceA good book for an afternoon at the beach! I loved the characters - a group of friends that either live or summered at Stoney Point Beach with an exception of one who died a few years back. Neil Barlow still makes his presence known though. Eva is looking for her birth parents - still. Kyle and Lauren are having trouble - he's unemployed again, but finds part time work at the local diner and Lauren is unhappy in their marriage. Jason Barlow has moved back to Stoney Point and has survivor's guilt. Maris is in Stoney Point to close her father's house and estate. She'll find more secrets than she wants to and maybe she'll stop running from her life.
Sibyl Adams is found in the Filling Station Diner's bathroom bleeding by Sara Linton. The blind professor has been 4.5 Stars - 2nd Reading Summer 2014
Sibyl Adams is found in the Filling Station Diner's bathroom bleeding by Sara Linton. The blind professor has been raped and has a large Cross carved into her torso. She is also the twin of Detective Lena Adams. Why would anyone harm the quiet, popular professor? Is it a hate crime? Is it a ritualistic rape/murder?
Then another girl from the GIT goes missing. Has she become the victim of the same freak? Or has her junkie boyfriend done something to her? If it is the killer, Julia only has days before she is dead like Sibby.
Linton has received another postcard. She gets them every year around this time and Sibyl's rape/murder hits to close for comfort. Jeffrey doesn't even know this part of Sara's past. How can she ever tell him and that this case has her in turmoil? Is this the case that finally causes Linton to get closer to her ex-husband or to resign as Grant County Medical Examiner?
Not a single person on Grant County police force will ever be the same after this case.
This book is the one in which I took an instant and intense disliking to Lena Adams 4 years ago. And I still dislike this character today. She has a chip the size of Texas on her shoulder. She is embarrassed unnecessarily of her twin's sexuality. She can't forgive or even be civil to the uncle who brought the twins up. She is always so angry - I find her exhausting and exasperating. My daughter in law loves this character - I can't understand why?
Sara is slightly out of character and that bothered me. But Slaughter can write! She knows how to tell a helluva good story with backbreaking fast pacing and breathless suspense. Placing it on my permanent shelves of books. ...more
In this installment of Karin Slaughter's Grant County Series, Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver are getting closer, though a new threat to their relationship rears its ugly head. As they are coming out the woods near Sara's parents' home, Jeffrey literally stumbles across a body buried in the ground. She was buried alive, then died a horrific death before she was freed.
The girl's identity leads to a co op soy farm and to a very religious family who is somewhat misogynist. Sara is not only shocked by the family, but by the family's Church - Tessa is a member and the family holds a Linton family secret in their hands. Which of the family or their farm hands killed Abby? And are there more young girls out there in the woods? Jeffrey must find out - his newest obsession.
I still don't like Lena Adams, I really can't figure out why I dislike this character as much as I do. When I read Blindsighted Lena just made my teeth hurt and got on my nerves, even with all that she's been through. Slaughter knows how to write and build up the suspension without giving up the bad guy until the end. I guessed the bad guy and again I was wrong. I recommend reading Karin Slaughter to everyone who loves a good thriller. ...more
Blackbird Fly has a little bit of everything in it - a mystery, long held family secrets, humor, loss, grief. It reads easy with a literary feel to itBlackbird Fly has a little bit of everything in it - a mystery, long held family secrets, humor, loss, grief. It reads easy with a literary feel to it. There is some suspense too with a dash of romance and a feel of an historical novel. It could be described as Women's Fiction, but the novel could be read by men and they could enjoy the book as well. I honestly don't know how to describe this small book except to say that I really, really enjoyed it.
Merle Bennett has just lost her husband, Harry. It seems like her husband hid a few important things from her - another family and the draining of their joint banking accounts, and an old family home in France in which a few more skeletons lay buried. Merle goes to France with her son in the hopes of selling the house, but an old eccentric woman refuses to leave the home, stating that Harry's mother gave her the home. The elderly woman dies suddenly and Merle becomes the prime suspect. Her passport is confiscated and is told not to leave the small French village. She starts renovating the stone home and sleuthing into the old woman's life and death unaware that the old woman is tied to her dead in-laws and their secrets.
Summer in France, wine, riots, unfriendly neighbors except Pere Albert, renovation, murder suspect, and a handsome roofer. What more can Merle ask for? ...more
Another great beach read! Bree O'Brien has returned to Chesapeake Shores for her sister's Grand Opening of The Inn at Eagle Point. But after3.50 Stars
Another great beach read! Bree O'Brien has returned to Chesapeake Shores for her sister's Grand Opening of The Inn at Eagle Point. But after three weeks, the quiet middle O'Brien sister has decided home is where she wants to be after disastrous reviews of her latest play performed in a Chicago Regional Theatre. She decides to open a floral shop, Flowers on Main. To her chagrin, the best nursery around is owned by Jake Collins - the man she dumped and whose heart is still broken because of Bree's sudden move to Chicago six years prior. Can they reconcile as are parents, Mick and Megan, seem to be doing? Secrets and trust issues abound.
I really like The Chesapeake Shores Series and this is an enjoyable 2nd entry of the series. I love the O'Briens! They are funny. They make you want to shake some sense into them. And sometime they make you a bit weepy-eyed. But they are a family, a family that you as a reader want to be in. Sherryl Woods draws complete characters that grow with each novel. What I didn't particularly like was Jake's whine for the entire book. He was either whining or angry and it got old really fast, so I deducted 1/2 star from my rating. I am looking forward to spending more time with the O'Briens in the fictional Chesapeake Shores soon! ...more
This is the 2nd Gabriel Allon novel and it is very good. The suspense and action levels are off the chart and Silva doesn't ask his readers to suspendThis is the 2nd Gabriel Allon novel and it is very good. The suspense and action levels are off the chart and Silva doesn't ask his readers to suspend disbelief. It could happen and when someone gets hurts - no miraculous healing. I even rooted for the Englishman, the assassin that Allon is after, because he showed some moral code about his assignments - that was an interesting twist to a villain. The last 40 pages were fast in wrapping up the story, maybe a little too fast for my reading taste - hence, a removal of a star. However The English Assassin is a very good thriller read.
And the story is fresh and seemingly could be ripped from the headlines. Terrorism? War? No. Hidden Art stolen by the Nazis from mostly Jewish galleries stored in deep basements or private Swiss Banks. The money gained from the stolen property used to fund Hitler for an extra year to eighteen months and a million more deaths in WWII. And it starts with Allon being summoned to Zurich to restore a painting for an unknown collector. When Gabriel arrives, he finds the man murdered. His body lying under a Rafael. He quietly leaves - his training kicking in. Why was the man murdered before telling the Israelis the reason he contacted them. Who killed him? And how did the Swiss authorities find and arrest the Restorer/sometimes Israeli Spy and Assassin in just 30 minutes? Gabriel Allon is determined to find the answers to these questions, even if it means dying in the process. And the English Assassin may just do that. ...more
I am a big fan of author Karin Slaughter, especially her Will Trent Series. I'm half in love with that character. That being said, I thought I'd try hI am a big fan of author Karin Slaughter, especially her Will Trent Series. I'm half in love with that character. That being said, I thought I'd try her other series again - Grant County. I'm glad I picked Indelible because it gives the back story of Sara Linton and Jeffrey Toliver. I now understand Linton a bit better. Lena Adams - I still don't like her for some reason. The story within the main story really works because it explains why 2 gunmen walked into Grant County PD and started shooting cops. They want Chief Jeffery Toliver dead. Why? The answer lies in another small town of Sylacauga, AL where Jeffrey Toliver grew up and where he and Linton's relationship really turned serious. Two crimes are committed in the small Alabama town that has led these 2 men to Heartsdale, GA. And Chief Toliver lies gravely wounded whilst Sara Linton does everything she can do to save Jeffery, the school children, and the other cops held hostage. She also lets her mind drift back to Sylacauga. Has Jeffery's past or the crimes that Linton and Toliver investigated finally caught up to them? Read Indelible to find out.
The flashbacks really worked and gave the present situation more urgency. Slaughter has a gift of terrific narration and suspense building. ...more
The Moon and Sixpence is one of W. Somerset Maugham better known novels. Its style is episodic and first person. The unnamed narrator gives us readersThe Moon and Sixpence is one of W. Somerset Maugham better known novels. Its style is episodic and first person. The unnamed narrator gives us readers glimpses of a seemingly dull conventional middle-aged English stockbroker, Charles Strickland, who abandons his wife and children to paint. His paintings are that of a genius - and is what is to be known as Primitivism. The narrator, who is first introduced to Strickland through the stockbroker's wife. Strickland strikes him as unremarkable and perhaps possessed. Afew chapters entirely comprise stories or narrations of others, which the narrator recalls from memory while selectively editing or elaborating on certain aspects of dialogue, particularly Strickland's, as Strickland is said by the narrator to be limited in his use of verbiage and tended to use gestures in his expression.
Strickland while in Paris lives a destitute but content life there as a painter, living in run-down hotels and endures both illness and hunger. Strickland, in his drive to express through his art what appears to continually possess and compel him on the inside, cares nothing for physical discomfort and is indifferent to his surroundings. He is generously supported, while in Paris, by a commercially successful but hackneyed Dutch painter, Dirk Stroeve, a friend of the narrator's, who immediately recognises Strickland's genius. After helping Strickland recover from a life-threatening condition, Stroeve is repaid by having his wife, Blanche, abandon him for Strickland. Strickland later discards the wife (all he really sought from Blanche was a model to paint, not serious companionship, and it is hinted in the novel's dialogue that he indicated this to her and she took the risk anyway), who then commits suicide – yet another human casualty (the first ones being his own established life and those of his wife and children) in Strickland's single-minded pursuit of Art and Beauty.
After the Paris episode, the story continues in Tahiti. Strickland has already died, and narrator attempts to piece together his life there from recollections of others. He finds that Strickland had taken up a native woman, had two children by her (one of whom dies) and started painting profusely. We learn that Strickland had settled for a short while in the French port of Marseilles before travelling to Tahiti, where he lived for a few years before finally dying of leprosy. Strickland left behind numerous paintings, but his magnum opus, which he painted on the walls of his hut before losing his sight to leprosy, was burnt down after his death by his wife in accordance with his dying orders. From Wikipedia
Somerset largely bases Strickland upon the painter Paul Gaugin. The Moon and Sixpence is a fast read that will stay with the reader for days. Each character, including the narrator) are likable as well as dislikable - poignantly ying and yang to Strikland's own self. Wonderful book. ...more
Jo Nesbø starts his Harry Hole Series with a bang by sending Harry down under to help investigate the murder of a young Norwegian girl Inger3.5 Stars
Jo Nesbø starts his Harry Hole Series with a bang by sending Harry down under to help investigate the murder of a young Norwegian girl Inger Holder. He's treated as an outsider until he points to murders/rapes across Australia that are similar to Holder. All of the women are blonde and have been strangled after being raped. Native indigenous Det. Andrew Kensington has partnered with Hole and is subtly steering Harry in a certain direction. Could Andrew know who the killer is? Is it him or someone he is very close to? Why hasn't Kensington not taken action on his suspicions, but rather wanting the foreign police officer to make the official inquiries?
All questions are answered at the end after several more bodies drop. The killer's identity had me gumsmacked. Didn't expect that character at all. And the motive? Shocked as well. Then why the half star deduction? Well, the story lagged in a couple places and Harry repeated himself a bit. That, my friends drove me crazy. ...more
A superb ending to the Nadia Stafford Hit Woman Trilogy! After a hit goes terribly awry, Nadia Stafford is down, really down. She failed to protect thA superb ending to the Nadia Stafford Hit Woman Trilogy! After a hit goes terribly awry, Nadia Stafford is down, really down. She failed to protect the innocent lives that she'd have saved if only the hit had been a go, but there was another innocent in the way. She has let a mother and a small daughter down, just as she had done with Amy all those years ago. Amy would have lived if only...
Her Mentor, Jack, hopes he has what will make Nadia's eyes come back to life. He has the new identity and address of Amy's rapist/killer. Nadia can finally give Amy the justice that the Canadian Courts denied her and Stafford. Sounds easy, but what a tangled web Nadia and Jack walk into. The man is already dead, and the killer knows Nadia. He knows she was was at the death scene. He knows her past with the dead man. He knows her past as a policewoman. And he knows Nadia Stafford is marked for death. He'll see to it himself because her suppressed memories about that long ago night are emerging, and that is dangerous for him. Can Stafford outsmart this killer? Can she also come to grips with what really happened that night when Amy was murdered? She will need Jack and all of her skills as a former detective and as a hit woman to survive this killer who has contacts beyond her imagination's scope.
Armstrong starts the novel running and picks up speed with every page until the novel's epilogue. She is one the few writers that can hold tension with a fast paced narration. Excellent! ...more