My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's cha3.5 Stars
My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's character needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Yes, she's damaged both professionally and personally because of her last investigation that led to the deaths of her team, including her husband. She's not quite the confident investigator as she used to be, but she does care about her victims greatly. She will get the person who brutally killed them. And especially, the first girl - the girl in the ice.
A young man finds the battered body of the once beautiful socialite Andrea Douglas-Brown under the ice in the boat house on a local museum's property. She's also the daughter of a wealthy and prominent member of the House of Lords. Politics and crime solving don't mix well if you as the investigating officer begin to find out that Andrea had a secret life that she kept well hidden from her family. And of course other members of the Douglas-Brown clan have a few skeletons in their own closet and try to hijack the investigation.
The killer is described only as "the figure" by Robert Bryndza. And I found that technique to be both unique and chilling. When this figure sets his/her eyes toward Erika Foster, things begin to get creepier. More women die. They are all found in the freezing water, strangled, and battered just like Andrea Douglas-Brown. And Erika is next. Can she save other women the same fate as Andrea and live to tell about it?
A few scenes felt a bit off where the writing was slightly weaker than the rest of the novel, and I didn't like the ending because Bryndzal gave us a few lines in the Epilogue to find out why the figure killed Andrea. Others were in custody too, awaiting trial. But The Girl In The Ice is a cross-over genre for author Robert Bryndza, and I expect he will become better and better as he writes more DCI Erika Foster novels. I give him an A+ for the story line and 3.5 Stars for his debut police procedural. ...more
I received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love politiI received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love political thrillers and the premise of The God's Eye View greatly interested me. In a post Edward Snowden era, the NSA Director has created the ultimate data, image, location, meta data Program - "God's Eye View". He will do anything to protect the U.S. from another terrorist attack, even arranging "suicides", "accidents", and the "murders" of any and all so-called "whistle-blowers". Even questioning these events can get a NSA employee killed. God's Eye is so compartmentalized, no one analyst knows what else is connected to God's Eye. And of course, the Director is using the program for his own personal use. Yes, the program the U.S. isn't supposed to have, let alone be using.
That is until, an analyst finishes the security protocols. You guessed it - she dies mysteriously. But she built in some backdoor access (probably for monitoring by her) and told her lover about it. Perkins meets with a reporter in Turkey. He thinks he's taken enough precautions to have been very discreet, but a young sharp analyst makes the connection between the two men. Shortly after their meeting and after Evie reports her findings to the Director, Perkins is killed in an automobile accident and the reporter is "kidnapped by ISIS affiliated terrorists."
Evie has information that links the Director to these events, and puts herself in the cross-hair sights of the Director. He has 2 assassins completely loyal to him. One, is a sadist that enjoys killing while the other is deaf and a tortured past. Manus can relate to Evie and her deaf son and also finds her attractive. Can Evie survive with these two men breathing down her neck? Will the country survive the The God's Eye View?
This is my 1st novel written by Barry Eisler and I'll read him again despite a few minor problems with the novel. A Size D heroine that gets horny every time she sees or hears from Manus? The buxom, but brainy broad theme got slightly weird and old. Her character and a few others weren't quite as developed as I felt they should have been. Marvin Manus was a terrific character. And the ending fell flat and a little short in my opinion. I wanted more information about Evie, Dash, and Manus in the Epilogue. That is why I knocked a half star off on this novel. ...more
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on theThank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on the calendar that we dread. And February 17 is the date that Anna Ray not only dreads, but she numbs herself with lots and lots of alcohol.
When she was a child, her mother killed her father on February 17. She has never spoke of it, and she won't. She won't open her mother's letters or accept her mother's calls.
Last year on February 17, her husband killed himself. His lifeless body hanging too close to the secrets of Anna's past.
This February 17 finds Anna in a new town, hundreds of miles from the home she and her husband shared. She has a new job thanks to her cousin, Jeanie. She drinks way too much wine and beer, but she can still function. Jeanie has come to stay with Anna on this February 17, and Anna is grateful. They both drink themselves into a sleep filled stupor, and Anna awakens late on February 18 to a blanket of snow and a small hope that nothing bad has happened this year.
But it does. Two murders, and she's now the suspect rather than the grieving daughter and widow.
I gave this 3 Stars because the ending didn't really resolve the entire story line. A few loose ends were left dangling that I wanted resolved. And Anna's character wasn't as developed as her cousin, Jeanie. I understand that speaking about her mother and husband is difficult, but...And the fact that Anna is a functioning alcoholic got a little old. What was meant to be mysterious and painful about Anna made her, at least to me, somewhat cold and weak. I almost didn't care about her, then the author made me care for Anna again, but not the way I did at the beginning of the novel.
The revelation of the killer's identity surprised me. I thumped my head and thought, "Of course!" And the reason to frame Anna for the murders was delicious....more
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his pro3.75 Stars
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his promising NBA career. He went to law school then worked for the FBI for a while before becoming a sports agent. He's an honest broker who really cares about his players. And he still lives with his mom and dad, albeit in a basement suite.
His secretary is a former female wrestler and she had me me in stitches. So did Myron's partner and sidekick - Win. Readers, please bend your suspension of disbelief to the breaking point when regarding Win. Every amateur sleuth has to have a superhero sidekick.
Myron is negotiating a big contract for a QB that is the dictionary's definition of the small town boy who made it big while being very humble. Christian Steele receives a porno mag with the picture of his fiancee that has been missing for over a year and a half. Kathy is also the sister of Myron's ex girlfriend who is back in town. Could Kathy be alive? If so, why hasn't she reached out to her family or Christian? Could the murder of Jessica and Kathy's father have been more than just a mugging gone bad? You betcha. Read Deal Breaker and everything becomes clear....more
Wow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. OwenWow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. Owen (Unknown), are going to be killed for taking the life of another. Not only are they going to die, they are going to die exactly as the nursery rhyme:
Ten Little Soldiers
Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to dine, one choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine Little Soldier Boys stayed up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight Little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven Little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six Little Soldier Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five Little Soldier Boys going in for law one got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four Little Soldier Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three Little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Christie, herself, says that she had to write an Epigraph to explain what happened. Do any of the ten survive? And who among them is non plumbed U.N. Owen? The note in the bottle finally gives the readers the "who-dun-it". Agatha Christie surprised me. It's no wonder that And Then There Were None is considered a classic to Mystery fans and movie goers. The fact that is that And Then There Were None was published in 1939 shows Christie's genius....more
It's been a full day now since I've read Bird Box: A Novel by Josh Malerman, and I have a love/hate thing going on. The novel is well told; the writinIt's been a full day now since I've read Bird Box: A Novel by Josh Malerman, and I have a love/hate thing going on. The novel is well told; the writing is amazing. It's scary. It's a tale of survival. It's a tale of one mother's will to protect her children.
Bird Box: A Novel reminds me a little of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Whereas The Road happens on a lonely road where the father and son must avoid danger at any costs, Bird Box: A Novel is 50% set on a river where the dangers to Malorie and her two children, Boy and Girl are in much danger. They must not see. They must be blindfold at all times. They must rely only what they hear. To see the world now is to run the risk of seeing the creatures that will drive them mad and eventually commit harm to themselves or to each other.
The other 50% of the novel is flashbacks to how this trip down river came to be. The author goes from present to past then to present. The pattern is repeated until the ending. Some readers in their reviews didn't like this, but I did. This writing technique built the suspense for this reader. I didn't like that Malorie's children were only called Boy and Girl. But I can understand why she did. To her, the chances of survival in the new world are very slim. I did like the novel a lot, and would recommend it. ...more
The closet was small, cramped. Too warm. Dark save for the sliver of dim light from the bedroom beyond. In it, Death waited. Patiently. Without movemeThe closet was small, cramped. Too warm. Dark save for the sliver of dim light from the bedroom beyond. In it, Death waited. Patiently. Without movement or complaint.
Tonight was the night. Soon the man would come. And like the others, he would pay."
Such a delicious beginning! I was hooked and expected to read All Fall Downall through the night. Well, I didn't. An early novel of Erica Spindler, and it showed. The novel could have been about 150 pages shorter. And there were to many gaps between the suspenseful trip Spindler was taking this reader on. And too many love scenes - not that I don't mind them - but some got in the way of the story lines. Also maybe 1 too many story line.
And the characters? They started to bore me after awhile. I had a love/hate relationship with Melanie May and her sisters. I did find her being identical twins with Mia, and fraternal triplet to Ashley fascinating, though.
And, I knew who the Dark Angel was about 1/2 way through the novel. But the sister who pulled the gun on her other sister shocked me. While this is my least favorite Erica Spindler novel, I'll read her yet again, because she is a really good storyteller....more
I know that I'm in the minority here with GR reviewers, but I HATED The Good Girl. I didn't like Gone Girl either. According to both books' blurbs I sI know that I'm in the minority here with GR reviewers, but I HATED The Good Girl. I didn't like Gone Girl either. According to both books' blurbs I should have because I love me a good thriller, especially a good psychological thriller.
Sadly, The Good Girl missed the mark for me. I didn't like Mia, didn't really care for her or her father or her sister, Grace. I did like her mother, Eve, a little. The detective and the kidnapper did arouse some interest in me.
But seriously I couldn't suspend disbelief with what happened in that Minnesota cabin. And the ending? I wanted to throw my Kindle out my door and run over it with my car! Talk about an absurd ending.
And the writing? Just plain bad. The construction of the story line? Just God awful. Was there anything I liked about the novel? ...well, I did like the cover. ...more
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
That excitement quickly left me. All of the characters, yes even the detective, were just horrible, unlikable. And there was no discernibly difference in each character's voice. True they were all sociopaths, but as a reader I expect character difference. In fact I consider it very important in a novel.
As a twist or an homage to Strangers on a Train this novel was an epic fail and bent my ability to suspend disbelief well past its breaking point....more
Like This, For Ever starts out with a bang. There's another serial killer in London. This time, this time the victims are young boys. They're3.5 Stars
Like This, For Ever starts out with a bang. There's another serial killer in London. This time, this time the victims are young boys. They're found on the beach of the Thames River with throats slit. But more disturbingly is the blood loss they've suffered.
Lacey Flint is still on sick leave from her ordeal at Cambridge (Book #2) and is having a time of it. She has two stalkers, one she knows about - Joesbury. The other is her 11 year old neighbor, Barney. Barney watches her like a protector. But he's the the one that needs protecting. He's obsessed with the missing boys as he is with his missing mother. And the killer is close by. He has his eyes focused on both Barney and Lacey.
DI Dana Tullah, once Lacey Flint's mentor and protector, is also obsessed with Lacey. But not in a good way. She believes the killer isn't a bloke, but a female. A female named Lacey Flint. More boys go missing and time is running out. Can MIT figure out who the killer is before more victims end up in the Creek or on the river's shore?
The character, Barney, is wonderful. I absolutely adored him. But Lacey? She's not quite likable at first. Something is really off about her until she gets involved with Barney. And where did all this hostility toward Lacey from Dana come from? It wasn't there in Book 2, and Bolten really doesn't explain it here in Like This, For Ever. That got old real fast.
Bolten also used too many red herrings. And the twists and turns were odd IMO. Instead of making the story line more suspenseful, it seemed to me to draw the story out like the author couldn't decide where she wanted it go.
The characters of Barney and his gang and their actions were great reading and that's why I gave the novel 3.5 Stars...more
Dead Scared really shook me up. Creepy folks, really creepy. DI Mark Joesbury has DC Lacey Flint go undercover at Cambridge University. Too m4.5 Stars
Dead Scared really shook me up. Creepy folks, really creepy. DI Mark Joesbury has DC Lacey Flint go undercover at Cambridge University. Too many students have been committing suicide, with as many failing at his/her attempts. Dr. Evi Oliver believes these students are being influenced by online pressure from suicide websites and chat rooms. DI Joesbury and Scotland Yard believe something more nefarious is going on at the colleges. These people are either being controlled by evil persons or they are getting help. The suicides are way to elaborate. And there is absolutely no trace evidence.
Flint is just supposed to keep her eyes open and not investigate. Right. We are talking about DC Lacey Flint, after all. Of course she investigates. As she gets closer to the truth, she is targeted. They want to kill her, but she, Lacey Flint must do it herself. They cannot be exposed. Who can she trust? Will she she leave Cambridge alive or in a body bag?
Bolton never lets off the gas. Her narrative is moving faster and faster. The reader feels the anxiety that the girls, Lacey, and Dr. Oliver feel. Stalkers, surveillance, invasion of privacy all feel to real. I checked my front door several times last night. I felt their fear as they were being "scared to death." The killers know what each is most afraid of. ...more
In this (the last?) installment of the Evan Delaney Series we readers finally discover why Jax Riviera and Tim Green keep popping into Evan Delaney'sIn this (the last?) installment of the Evan Delaney Series we readers finally discover why Jax Riviera and Tim Green keep popping into Evan Delaney's life. There is a connection to a mother and son prostitute ring and a failed off the books ops - "Riverbend." Phil Delaney is being prosecuted for revealing classified information and he's been kidnapped by the Sangers. The price is, you guessed it, the Riverbend file that Jax has had hidden all of these years as an insurance policy. Evan must travel to Bangkok, Singapore, and London to get all of Jax's encrypted flash drives before time runs out - Jax has hidden a virus in the encryption that will erase the entire file unless the next drive is installed within a specific timeline. Rio Sanger tells Evan that Phil Delaney only has 72 hours to live without water - she wants that file. So does another interested party that doesn't care about Evan, her father, or an innocent little girl. Jesse Blackburn is working against his fiance, because he promised Phil that he would keep Evan clear from Riverbend, because it would start the "kill chain." Does Evan stay out of the way? No!
Though Evan Delaney have been featured in other Meg Gardiner books as the author told me in her blog's Q & A, the ending of Kill Chain left me cold. I didn't like the way she left Evan - too many questions were left unanswered and more were raised. Gardiner says she'll revisit Evan Delaney/Jesse Blackburn in the near future, but will she? She's written several stand alones and is well through another series, but no Evan Delaney. If a series is coming to an end, I'd like all of the threads tied together, regardless if I like the way those threads are woven. ...more
I really enjoyed this 4th book in the Evan Delaney Series. As before Meg Gardiner grabbed me from the first paragraph and kept me turning the pages, rI really enjoyed this 4th book in the Evan Delaney Series. As before Meg Gardiner grabbed me from the first paragraph and kept me turning the pages, reading furiously until the last word. Although I was a bit put off by one of Evan's decisions in the novel, and that is why I deducted a full star in my rating. That one decision, I'll keep to myself.
Evan Delaney and Jesse Blackburn return to China Lake for Evan's 15th High School Reunion. Many of her classmates are dead - too many. And in the course of 24 hours two more class mates are found brutally murdered. Jax Rivera contacts Evan and tells her that an unstable assassin is killing her friends, and it is connected to a Black Ops project in China Lake 20 years prior. And yes, Evan is a target too.
I love that each book in the series is darker than the previous one. But I do love a dark mystery thriller. ...more
It's been a day since I read The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder, and I still don't know how I feel about it. Know that the novel is NOT for th3.5 Stars
It's been a day since I read The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder, and I still don't know how I feel about it. Know that the novel is NOT for the faint of heart; it is quite graphic in its depiction of the slaughter on Nanking.
It is also moving. The story of Shi Chongming is compelling, sad, and just plain awful. Grey is obsessed by the massacre that occurred in Nanking. She's waited nine years, seven months and eighteen days to see Shi Chongming after researching every little reference about the 1937 incident that she learned about in an orange book while she was home schooled. And she endured years in a mental hospital, but she isn't insane. Nanking really did happen. She's given up everything to travel to Tokyo to see Shi Chongming's film. She's not leaving until she does.
So, The Devil of Nanking is about obession and its dangers as well as the horrendous things men do to their fellow human beings. And its also the ending to Shi Shi Chongming's story. "The end must begin with the beginning."...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
Eyes wide open - Oh my! I wasn't expecting to be emerged in the world of cam-girls performing explicit sexual acts for clients. But it was done with tEyes wide open - Oh my! I wasn't expecting to be emerged in the world of cam-girls performing explicit sexual acts for clients. But it was done with the intent to further the story line, not in an overt gratuitous intent.
Deana Madden (and her alter ego Jessica Reilly) has not been out of Apt 6E in three years, nor has had any actual human contact with any one save her virtual clients. Madden has locked herself away because she's afraid that she will kill someone. This phobia has come about due to a tragedy that wiped out her family when she was younger. Her alter ego has made her a wealthy young woman - I'm talking about 7 figures in her bank account. While Deanna is evil (her words) and needs locking up (also her words), Jessica is a college student and sex kitten who knows how to talk to her clients and keep their secrets. One thing about keeping secrets, one or more will escape. And she suspects that one her clients with a particular fantasy maybe a serial killer, and has a new target already for the taking. Deanna/Jessica must re-enter society to save the young girl, Annie. She asks another client who is a hacker to help her. But can Deanna withstand her urges to kill and save Annie.
Torre understands suspense pacing and has come up with an unique female protagonist. I learned about the fascinating world of web-camming, and was surprised that I liked The Girl in 6E. ...more
I really wanted to like this novel - the premise sounded intriguing. Nine year old triplets go to the movies, and only one leaves the Movieplex. TheseI really wanted to like this novel - the premise sounded intriguing. Nine year old triplets go to the movies, and only one leaves the Movieplex. These girls belong to Katie and Scott Monroe: THE Monroes. Scott is beloved within the Yankee Organization, while Katie is a renowned Forensic Child Psychiatrist. Who took the girls? Someone connected to Katie's work - putting away the bad guys that hurt children?Or someone close to Scott? Or is it racial, since the Monroe triplets are bi-racial?
The 1st half of the novel is very suspenseful, but the author should have had a better editor. Gussin provided way to many suspects to maintain the psychological suspense she had created. Names kept changing throughout the novel. Within the Chapter POV kept changing without the proper spacing, so it was difficult to determine who and what part of the storyline I was reading about. That was quite frustrating. And Katie! I don't believe that she acted the way she did toward the "safe" daughter, Jackie. After all, the author kept praising her psychiatric approach with wounded children. And the end - a bit hastily written. ...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
I finished this on St. Paddy's Day and I'm still torn between 3 and 4 Stars. Paula Hawkins had me spell bound. Her writing is fierce - she certainly kI finished this on St. Paddy's Day and I'm still torn between 3 and 4 Stars. Paula Hawkins had me spell bound. Her writing is fierce - she certainly knows how to spend a very suspenseful tale, keeping the reader quickly turning the pages despite all of her very unlikeable characters.
Rachel is Tom Watson's ex-wife. She is quite pathetic. She's a drunk and unemployed. But each morning she rides the train to London (to save face) pretending she's just another commuter. And the train always stops very near her old house where she was happy and hopeful with Tom. A few doors down live a beautiful couple that she's dubbed "Jess and Jason." She imagines their life together, giving them wonderful attributes and marriage. Looks can be deceiving as the real "Jess" - Meagan - shows us. Tom's current wife hates Rachel and truly believes that Tom's ex-wife is unstable and dangerous to her, Tom, and their baby daughter. Everything is going as smoothly as each woman's situation can go until one of them suddenly disappears. Rachel must interject herself in the investigation. After all, she's invested a year of mornings and evenings watching this woman. Bad decision, girlfriend.
The story line is told from each of the three women's altering POV, and that technique is powerful and makes the novel work. As I've said there is not one redeemable or likeable character in the whole book, but the reader is also a Rachel - a voyeur of a sort like in Rear Window. Something bad has happened and we know it's coming and we can't shut our eyes. We readers must know what happened and by whose hands. ...more
A new approach for Linda Fairstein with this 17th installment of her Alexandra Cooper Series. For the first few chapters, it is Alex in her 1st personA new approach for Linda Fairstein with this 17th installment of her Alexandra Cooper Series. For the first few chapters, it is Alex in her 1st person POV. A big case of hers has blown up in her face, data from her office computer has been compromised, and her boss has threatened her ever so subtly. Then she's kidnapped while waiting for an Uber driver.
Then Fairstein changes POV. Mike Chapman takes over for the rest of the book. He has a domestic murder that ties into an unholy alliance between the DA himself and the irreverent Reverend Hal Shipley. When he, Alex's team, and her close friends realize that Coop hasn't gone off to be by herself, precious time has elapsed. How much does Mike Chapman know about Alex Cooper? Even though they've been friends and worked together for over a decade, Chapman realizes that he really doesn't know the woman he's in love with, and time is running out for Alex.
A great suspenseful read with the history Fairstein is known for. There aren't the usual light humorous moments that are always associated with the novels in this series. And yet again, Alex is in need of rescuing. ...more
Wow! What a good read State of the Union was! Brad Thor, as usual, kept me up way past my bedtime, flipping the pages as fast as I could. The Author NWow! What a good read State of the Union was! Brad Thor, as usual, kept me up way past my bedtime, flipping the pages as fast as I could. The Author Note was quite chilling - I thought those Nuke caches were fictional, but they are real and haven't been found.
Yes, Nuke caches hidden by former USSR sleeper agents. These are suitcases with a nuclear bomb (among other things) hidden in various parts of the United States. No American is safe, nor are cities or small towns. (For once I figured out where the suitcases were before Scot Harvath did.) President Jack Rutledge receives a "ransom note" hidden within his daily NSA briefing folder. Evidently the Cold War has heated up again. And only a few people have access to the briefing folder. Who in his Administration can the POTUS trust. The State of the Union Address is only 10 days away.
Rutledge does not want to give Russia what she wants. It would mean the ruination of America. Russia as the sole dominant World Power? Not on his watch. An old Cold War clandestine group is called into action, but 10 of the 12 men have been murdered; and of the two remaining members, one is missing - Gary Lawlor. Could Scot Harvarth's boss be a traitor? Or have the Russians killed him too.
With time running out before the State of the Union address that the Russians expect Jack Rutledge to give - ceding to their demands, another terrifying discovery is made. For years the Russian have funneled their International Aid monies into into a top secret air defense system, that has just been activated rendering any conventional attack upon their country utterly ineffective.
Out of options the President and his few trusted advisers turn to former Navy Seal and Secret Service Agent, Scot Harvarth. Assigned to a covert section of the Department of Homeland Security and charged with defending the nation against all foreign aggressors by any means necessary, Harvath finds himself hand-picked by the president to unravel a brilliantly orchestrated, fiendishly timed conspiracy that has already started to unravel relationships among nations. Pack warmly Scot, Russia is cold this time of year. ...more
Ret. Det. Bill Hodges is bored and thinking about eating his gun until the killer, dubbed by the Press, Mr. Mercedes sends him a letter. Brady thoughtRet. Det. Bill Hodges is bored and thinking about eating his gun until the killer, dubbed by the Press, Mr. Mercedes sends him a letter. Brady thought wrong. He just gave Hodges a reason to live. He's going to find him and bring him in. For a second he believes him when he says he's not going to mow anyone else down in a stolen Mercedes leaving a clown's mask on the drivers seat. No Brady has a bigger and more evil plan that makes what happened at the Jobs Fair look like child's play. He has enough C4 to blow up a city block in the unnamed Midwestern city. Rather than tell his old partner that the murderer has contacted him, the retired detective with the help of a middle aged woman who still lives with her mother and his 17 year old lawn, computer, and general I-Need-This-Fixed young man. The trio make an unlikely team to go after the notorious Mr. Mercedes Killer, but they fit so well together. I laughed at times and then was frightened for them. They are an excellent team.
What I didn't like about Hodges characterization was King's portrayal of him being old at 61. Close to 60, at 58 years old, I took offense at that. I'm also pretty computer savy also, Mr. King. And then there's Jerome. Please, the jive talk? An upper middle class black teen who is highly intelligent trying to be "ghetto" just plainly got on my last nerve. But the story line was intensely good and kept me on the edge of my seat. Looking forward to reading Finders Keepers later this month. ...more
I have to agree with my GR friend, LJ that Harry is Haller's antagonist in this one. Well it should be so. Harry believes he's on the side of Angels and Haller defends the devil. Both are loners. Both have daughters. Both have the same father - one legitimate; the other son, not. One sees the Law as a game to win in court, the other sees the Law to punish the bad guys. Poor Harry has to work with Haller because the murderer he's trying to catch may be after Mickey now. How's that? Well let's go to the beginning.
Mickey Haller is ready now to go back to court and try cases. A colleague is murdered and leaves all of his cases to Haller, including a film exec who is accused of killing his wife and her lover. A franchise case - Haller needs that right now. Enter his half brother, Harry Bosch whom is investigating Jerry Vincent's murder. Harry believes the killer is one of his clients who are Haller's now.
The investigation comes forefront when Mickey is threatened. Otherwise, the murder investigation goes on behind Haller and his investigation and Eliot's trial. Remember the novel's openning line: Everybody lies.".
The last twist took me by surprise; I didn't see it coming. The strength of Michael Connelly is his plotting and dialogue. His magic is on full display here and he kept me turning the pages, guessing where he was going until the very last word. ...more
Brad Thor is always great. He can take current events and spin a good yarn. Act of War is no different. If you don't think our National debt is a majoBrad Thor is always great. He can take current events and spin a good yarn. Act of War is no different. If you don't think our National debt is a major security problem, then read this novel.
A covert CIA agent dies in China and his top asset has devastating information. China is planning an imminent attack on the United States. Code named Snow Dragon, this attack will be lethal - 90% casualty rate. This asset says the attack won't be a conventional attack. China won't fire a shot, they own our debt. She also says that Colonel Shi has outsourced the first volley to Mideastern States to further protect China from International implications.
Six foreign students mysteriously disappear, two airline passengers trade boarding passes, and a political refugee is arrested. These events are not as random as they appear to be. The Chinese asset just may be correct. Scot Harvath must lead one team and mission - "Blackbird" while Seals infiltrate North Korea to see what the Chinese are up to in the PLK - "Gold Dust." If either team or mission is compromised, these missions will turn into Acts of War.
Thor keeps the reader turning the pages as fast as the reader can. His trademark short chapters furthers the suspense and story quickly. ...more
I finally slogged my through this novel and FINISHED - thanks to the patience gods! There was so so much jargon and technical information about the PJI finally slogged my through this novel and FINISHED - thanks to the patience gods! There was so so much jargon and technical information about the PJ's equipment, camp, and other stuff I began to wonder if I was reading a training manual or a piece of fiction. Tom Clancy put a lot of technical information in his books as it related to the storyline, but his prose flowed and didn't have footnotes at the end of each chapter as does The Empty Quarter. And the ending! It was so incredible; it was just plain absurd! The storyline was a good idea, but the execution of it was a dull, dry read with the reader leaving the realms of suspended disbelief.
The storyline is simple. A member of the Royal Saudi family wants his daughter to returned to him without her husband. The princess loves him, but her father does not. He rather see Arif dead rather than in his house. He arranges "a rescue" from the Americans. The elite Pararescue Jumpers go into to action as well as a low level embassy employee whom was a former Army Ranger. None of the rescuers know that the Saudi Prince is actually arranging her kidnapping with the hopeful outcome that Arif is killed during the rescue and Nayada is safely returned to the Kingdom. The desert they have to cross is the deadly desert in Yemen known as The Empty Quarter.
Sounds good, doesn't it? The storyline is a great idea, but the writing did it injustice. And that is never good when reading a thriller. Will I ever read this author again? I doubt it unless there are no footnotes in the novel. ...more
With the President coming into NYC, the last thing that is needed or wanted is a murder/rape in the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It IS the4.75 Stars
With the President coming into NYC, the last thing that is needed or wanted is a murder/rape in the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It IS the hotel of choice for every POTUS. Mike Chapman, Mercer Wallace, and Alex Cooper feel the pressure to solve the young woman's death before the President arrives. But the girl has no I.D. And she has strange markings on her that look like ladders or train tracks.
Soon, another body is found very near Grand Central Station with the same markings: definitely train tracks. This leads the investigation into the station and its terminal. Alex is surprised to find a whole new underground city with its own dwellers among the vast tunnels and tracks. Could it be one these "moles" is out on a killing spree, or is the real target the President? And the prior victims were just practice?
Oh, things heat up between escaped rapist Raymond Tanner and Alex. So does the budding romance between Chapman and Alex.
This is my favoriteLinda Fairstein novel in her Alexandra Cooper Series. Fairstein's history of the Waldorf Astoria and Grand Central Station was fantastic! Just blew me away. Her writing is spot on, building the suspense and mystery with each page. Just when the reader is expecting one thing, Fairstein puts a nice twist to what the reader thought was going to happen. And there is the Jeopardy obsession Mike Chapman has. Not only does those snippets provide some humour, but they also the reader to catch her/his breath in between the suspense waves.
However, I have one small beef. Does EVERY Alex Cooper Novel HAVE TO HAVE Alex trapped by herself with the killer!?! She always is trapped, the killer confesses, and she waits to be rescued. It's being a bit boring Ms. Fairstein. ...more
What a good book! And darkly humorous too boot! Hazel made me laugh until my stomach hurt. And someone did try to hurt Hazel Moran, since she is out oWhat a good book! And darkly humorous too boot! Hazel made me laugh until my stomach hurt. And someone did try to hurt Hazel Moran, since she is out on the water with a dead guy on board. The dead guy FINALLY convinced her father that someone tried to kill her when her Miata ended up in the drink. She feels bad that she killed the man, but it had to be done. Her cousin, Micah, is missing; so is the Morans' truck - Intuition. People are chasing Hazel and her Dad on land and sea. But why? And why did Micah steal her truck? Or was it someone else? Hazel decides to find out using her fictitious hero - Travis McGee - to find out. he's not worried. But the bad guys should be, Hazel is not a people person. She's lived with her dad on a small schooner and can shift the gears on an 18 wheeler fast. Oh yeah - she knows how to wield a very sharp knife, like Micah taught her.
Yes, Hazel has trust issues and she isn't good at listening to her father's instructions; but she does have a soft spot : animals and a burn-scarred, brain scrambled boy that makes her heart go pitter-pat until it doesn't. Who is this boy? Who is Stevenson? What do they want and are they responsible for Micah's disappearance? Better watch out, Hazel is on the hunt for the bad guys!
Last Exit In New Jersey is a fast read that takes the reader on a wonderful ride. C.E. Grundler doesn't give any clues to what is going on and whom the bad guys really are until the last 80 pages. She has a dark sense of humor that comes out in Hazel, Micah, Zap, and Gary. I loved the characters and want to read more by this author. ...more