Koryta is super-talented in the realm of detective fiction. I enjoy his wit and the action of the plot. It's also very fun to read a book that is setKoryta is super-talented in the realm of detective fiction. I enjoy his wit and the action of the plot. It's also very fun to read a book that is set in my own neck of the woods. I'm looking forward to future installments to find out what happens with Joe. ...more
This book's title is by far my favorite title of all time. After reading the book I find it extremely powerful and effective. Koryta really delves intThis book's title is by far my favorite title of all time. After reading the book I find it extremely powerful and effective. Koryta really delves into the complexity of Lincoln in this novel. He's not a "perfect" protagonist and I LOVE that. He's a real person with flaws. And Joe is his perfect complament. ...more
What can you say beyond, "WOW!" This book is just phenomenal. I love that Lehane paints a very "gray" world. Everything isn't black and white, right aWhat can you say beyond, "WOW!" This book is just phenomenal. I love that Lehane paints a very "gray" world. Everything isn't black and white, right and wrong. You can't help but wonder what choices you would make in the same situation....more
Derrick Strange sets out to investigate the shooting death of off-duty officer Chris Wilson, at the request of Wilson's mother. Wilson was shot by a fDerrick Strange sets out to investigate the shooting death of off-duty officer Chris Wilson, at the request of Wilson's mother. Wilson was shot by a fellow police officer, and the DC police force had already investigated and cleared Terry Quinn, the officer who shot Wilson, but Wilson's mother is not satisfied with their findings and doesn't like the way her son was portrayed through the official investigation. Strange not only uncovers new details in this unfortunate death, but he also uncovers a friendship with Terry Quinn.
If I could give a half-star rating, I would actually rate this at 4.5 stars. The characters are well developed and Pelecanos breaches a very touchy topic for most Americans. He handles it well, but I felt uncomfortable - maybe even offended - through a few parts, but I think that was his intention. The only area I think there was room for improvement was in his use of language. He tended to be crass and even vulgar in the narration. That language was appropriate at times with the characters themselves, but with the narration, he could have created a much more powerful effect had he not been quite so pedestrian in his language choice. If I had not read Daniel Woodrell or Pay Conroy, I may not have had that same opinion, but I've seen what magic those writers can weave with their words. So, I know it's possible - and effective! ...more
This is the second installment in the Tess Monaghan series. Tess is hired by the Boston Beacon-Light when a news story is mysteriously printed after tThis is the second installment in the Tess Monaghan series. Tess is hired by the Boston Beacon-Light when a news story is mysteriously printed after the editors nixed it. Things heat up when the subject of that story commits suicide. A small sub-plot parallels the main plot. Tess's Uncle Spike is beat up so badly he goes into a coma. Tess works to find out who beat him and why. The only clue she has is a greyhound left behind by Spike.
I enjoyed this book, but I think it would have been just fine with one plot or the other. Both running simultaneously made you expect them to eventually intertwine. Tess isn't one of the stronger characters I've encountered in detective fiction, but at least she ends up liking the dog! I thought the plot got a little over the top toward the end, but it was still enjoyable....more
Milan Jacovich is a rather eccentric private investigator in Cleveland, Ohio, and he receives a strange call one night from Richard Amber, a big wig iMilan Jacovich is a rather eccentric private investigator in Cleveland, Ohio, and he receives a strange call one night from Richard Amber, a big wig in the advertising business. Amber wants to hire Milan as a body guard for twelve hours. The pay is good; Milan has nothing better to do; so off he goes to meet Amber at his house in ritzy Pepper Pike. If the call wasn't strange enough, when Milan arrives, Amber is no where to be found.
The next morning, Milan receives yet another call. This time the call is from Amber's wife, Judith. She's also calling to hire Milan. Judith Amber wants Milan to find Richard Amber; he's missing. Richard Amber's disappearance may turn out to be more than your basic "missing person" case for Milan.
PEPPER PIKE is the first book in the popular Milan Jacovich series, originally published in 1988. Being from the Cleveland area, it's about time I got around to reading Cleveland's favorite P.I. If you've never been to the Cleveland area, believe me when I say that Les Roberts is not only true to the flavor and feel of this part of Ohio, but his love of the region radiates from the pages. I shivered actually feeling the wet and cold when Milan was trekking through some residential back yards.
In addition to the physical geography, Roberts does a stellar job illustrating class distinction and the sharp contrast that can exist in the Cleveland region. One needn't drive far to see the struggling working class and then the obscenely wealthy: from a bar where everyone is hanging their hopes on the night's lottery numbers to homes costing in the range of the mid six figures (remember it's the 80s). Even organized crime has a face in the urban sprawl of Cleveland.
The realism doesn't stop at the setting. Roberts is also a master crafter when it comes to his characters. Milan exhibits many of the traits of the traditional P.I. He's witty, a loner and has a knack for finding trouble even when he isn't looking for it. But he also has some traits unique to the P.I. character. As a female reader, the one I most admire is his respect for women, which is probably a reflection of his creator because the female characters in the novel are also worthy of respect. PEPPER PIKE is not full of beautiful women with empty heads, nor damsels in distress who are saved through sex. Roberts' emphasizes Milan's intelligence, thoughtfulness and vulnerability, not brute strength. Milan is also principled, encouraging the reader to develop a strong faith in Milan, cheering him on when the odds are against him.
PEPPER PIKE was an enjoyable read, and I'm glad I finally managed to remove it from the "to be read" pile and check it off the "read" list. I will also be adding the remainder of the series to my must read list. The biggest benefit of discovering a series late? Not having to wait for the next book to be published! Les Roberts published the fourteenth Milan Jacovich novel last year, so I'll have plenty of Milan to keep me reading for awhile....more
Kinsey Millhone is a single female working as a private investigator in Santa Theresa, California. She is hired by Nikki Fife, the convicted murderedKinsey Millhone is a single female working as a private investigator in Santa Theresa, California. She is hired by Nikki Fife, the convicted murdered of Lawrence Fife (her husband), to find out who really killed him. Her investigation leads her into a series of other murders that seem to be connected.
I don't know if I can even justify one star on this book. I was at no point able to "connect" with Kinsey. I love a strong female character, but she does not fit that bill. She is crass which makes her seem uneducated and low-class. Attempts at presenting emotion from her were not believable; she simply came across as apathetic the entire novel. And how she could solve any crime with the amount of alcohol she consumed in this book is beyond me. Aside from the lack of dimension in her character, I am also not a fan of Grafton's writing style. This is the first book I've read of hers and from the get go, I was not impressed. At first I thought maybe I would try reading a couple of her books before I made a decision, but I don't think I could make it through another book of this caliber. The book was completely predictable. The outcome was obvious before you even hit the midpoint. Grafton tends to include pointless detail that does nothing to further the plot. And there are so many problems with the logic throughout the novel. For example, she says that Kinsey wipes down her Las Vegas hotel room to get rid of prints. Yet she paid her bill, SIGNED the bill and both owners of the hotel saw and talked to her. If she's trying to get rid of her presence in the hotel, she left an awfully bright trail...afterall, if someone were trying to establish she was there, wouldn't fingerprinting be further down the road from eyewitness accounts and paper records?
This was definitely a let-down, and I will not be pursuing any further letters of the alphabet. There are far more interesting books out there to fill my time. ...more
Spenser is hired by Rita Fiore to find proof that Mary Smith did not kill her rich banker husband, Nathan. When Spenser begins investigating and moreSpenser is hired by Rita Fiore to find proof that Mary Smith did not kill her rich banker husband, Nathan. When Spenser begins investigating and more people end up dead, the plot thickens and the trail seems to be leading back to one of Boston's elite criminal lawyers.
This is the first book I finished in 2008. I actually began it on audio book in 2007, but it's still my first read of '08. I laughed hysterically through the entire novel. I did not realize this installment was so far into the series. It is the first Spenser novel I have read, so I'm going back to start at the beginning of the series. I loved it. There were a couple things that bothered me. The first was the conversation throughout the novel. The constant use of "he said", "she said", "I said", "Quirk said", "Hawk said". Even if a character was asking a question, it was "he said." I think listening to the book on audio brought that overuse more acutely. When physically reading you can simply read past those parts. The other part that bothered me was Spenser "significant other" Susan - who is a psychologist - wanting to help a gay patient become straight. I'm sure this is just a personal issue for me, but the idea of a trained professional trying to help the boy change instead of be comfortable with who is is bothersome to me. It's not like this book was published back in the 60s or 70s. It was published in 2002. The knowledge we have in this day and age; I can't imagine a psychologist thinking that way, but I could be entirely wrong. That's just a very minimal part of the book, so it didn't change my overall enjoyment. ...more
When reporter Jack McEvoy learns his twin brother, a police detective, has committed suicide, he starts to notice some "hoaky" details. Those detailsWhen reporter Jack McEvoy learns his twin brother, a police detective, has committed suicide, he starts to notice some "hoaky" details. Those details soon lead him to discover that Sean's death was only made to look like a suicide - in reality it was murder, part of a nation-wide serial spree by a Poe-quoting killer. Jack sets off to find his brother's killer and the story of a lifetime.
I was convinced that Connelly was going to let me down on this book. It was getting to the end of the novel and it appeared that the ending was going to mirror The Black Echo. I couldn't believe that the talented man who wrote Black Echo was going to have the same conclusion in this book as well. But, he threw a wrench in at the last minute and I didn't see it coming. Maybe I was too preoccupied with something else, but I sure was caught off-guard. It was awesome. I loved the tie-ins to Edgar Allen Poe. I also really enjoy the depth to Connelly's characters. The aren't cookie cutter or stereotypical. And his use of first person allows you to experience the internal conflict first hand.
I listened to this one on audio book, and I didn't really warm up to the reader. He wasn't bad, but something just didn't seem to fit with the character of Jack McEvoy. It makes me wonder what Connelly envisioned McEvoy sounding like. ...more
Spenser is hired by a Boston University to recover an ancient manuscript, the Godwulf Manuscript, that was stolen and ransomed. In the process of locaSpenser is hired by a Boston University to recover an ancient manuscript, the Godwulf Manuscript, that was stolen and ransomed. In the process of locating this manuscript, people start dying, and a young woman is set up to take the fall for at least one of these murders. The young woman's parents also hire Spenser to clear her of the murder charges.
I LOVED this novel. I love the plot, which was complex but didn't vear off into unnecessary subplots. I loved the dialogue. Spenser's wit is hysterical! Parker could stand to use "he said"/"she said" etc. a little less, but otherwise, I loved his writing. Quirks character is an excellent support: he's dynamic and his straight-laced ways are a great counter-part to Spenser's wit....more
Robert Parker introduces Sunny Randall in this mystery. She's a private detective hired by Broch and Betty Patton to find their daughter Millicent whoRobert Parker introduces Sunny Randall in this mystery. She's a private detective hired by Broch and Betty Patton to find their daughter Millicent who has run away. Finding Millicent isn't the hard part, keeping her alive is. Sunny's gay friend Spike and her ex-husband Richie join the effort to protect this young girl from the men out to kill her.
Sunny Randall is a great character. She is so dynamic - one minute a budding artist and the next a super sleuth. She's willing to try things to be able to CHOOSE whether or not she CAN do them or even WANTS to do them. That mentality of not letting others - even nature - contain her is admirable. She's intelligent, independent and constantly battles with feelings she can't necessarily explain. How much more human can you get? And any character who likes dogs as much as Sunny does is alright in my book.
Spike is awesome. He breaks the stereotypes of the gay man, but still makes the comment, "honey, I'm gay; of course I can cook." I'd love to have a friend like Spike!
Parker's dialogue isn't as witty with Sunny as it is with Spenser, but that also isn't her character. He still tends to use the "he said", "she said", "Richie said", "Spike said" a little too often for my taste. And the characters often "drank a little" something (tea, coffee, wine, etc.). I notice repetition like that. And a detail like that I don't need to hear very often in a book...works great for stage direction, but I don't need to picture that every time a character takes a drink in a conversation.
Spenser is hired to find a young boy named Kevin Bartlett. His parents believe he ran away until a kidnapping ransome arrives. But the whole ransome sSpenser is hired to find a young boy named Kevin Bartlett. His parents believe he ran away until a kidnapping ransome arrives. But the whole ransome set-up seems odd to Spenser and state cop, Healy. It becomes even stranger when a man turns up dead inside the Bartlett home. In his quest to find Kevin, Spenser meets Susan Silverman, a counselor at Kevin's school. Sparks start to fly.
I loved this novel. Marge Bartlett, a self-centered superficial woman, made such a fine target for Spenser's sarcastic wit. Yet, Parker balances the female characters with Silverman, an intelligent woman concerned with peoples's thoughts and feelings. Race is also an awesome character. His banter with Spenser is fun. Trask made a great foil for Spenser and I'm wondering if we'll see him again.
While I didn't predict the entire end, there were parts I suspected. It was still great, nonetheless. ...more