I have read just about every single book by Cornwell and Dust was no exception.
Dust seemed to have return to basics with Scarpetta...moreAs posted in Amazon:
I have read just about every single book by Cornwell and Dust was no exception.
Dust seemed to have return to basics with Scarpetta as the chief medical examiner, rough-and-gruff Marino back as a police detective, Benton back to profiling, and clandestine Lucy continues her covert operations. The problem is that Scarpetta obsesses over Marino and who knows why. Either kill him off or let him go! Benton and Lucy are featured too much. In my observation, seems that Cornwell is running out of materials or characters. Lately, characters who have appeared in previous books are now turning up as bad people.
At an ungodly hour, Scarpetta gets a call from Marino about a dead body at MIT. The victim turns out to be the plaintiff in a huge lawsuit against a financial entity and is someone that Scarpetta's niece, Lucy, may know. Of course, evidence-wise, there is more than what the visible eye sees to Scarpetta. And, this is where Cornwell goes into great details which can be overwhelming when describing tools, landscapes, clothing, etc. Meanwhile, Benton consults on this case but cannot reveal much since he is under the watchful eye of the FBI.
Despite the description overload, the story moves at a decent pace. However, if you're familiar with Cornwell's Scarpetta series, then you are familiar with the banter between the key characters and yes, Scarpetta's mother is baaaack!(less)
I have been disappointed with the current gay novels and mysteries. They're poorly written and heavily peppere...more*review originally posted in Amazon.com*
I have been disappointed with the current gay novels and mysteries. They're poorly written and heavily peppered with sex. Sex is alright but not when it is nothing but sex and this is supposed to be a gay mystery?!?!
I guess sometimes we need go back to basics. I picked up a copy of Hansen's "Fadeout", a Dave Brandstetter mystery series. At first, I had reservations since it was first published in 1970. For me, gay classics are an acquired taste.
However, Fadeout was an enjoyable whodunit book that didn't drone on and on with useless details. Dave Brandstetter is an insurance investigator looking into the disappearance of Fox Olson. His car was found crashed but there is no body. The search for Olson soon leads to disappointment, betrayals, affairs, lovers, and secrets that connected everyone to each other. Meanwhile, Brandstetter has some of his own demons to face.
It was interesting to note that it wasn't "gay, gay, gay" throughout the book as you seen in current gay books. It could be because of how it was in the 70's. The Stonewall Riot just occurred the previous year before this book was published. It could be it wasn't that big of deal to flaunt gayness as it is now.
I'm definitely going to check out the other books of this series!(less)
I found *Never Tell a Lie* a simple suspense thriller. I agree with the other reviewers that it was nothing but f...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I found *Never Tell a Lie* a simple suspense thriller. I agree with the other reviewers that it was nothing but formuliac.
David and Ivy have just relocated to a house. They are also expecting their first child, after a few miscarrages, any time now. The previous owner has left behind junk, which the couple have hosted a yard sale.
One of the shoppers is Melinda White, a former classmate of David and Ivy. She wasn't really part of their circles. She was often taunted as being a geek and whatnots. However, everyone grows up and bygones are bygones.
What's interesting is that Melinda used to play at this particular house as her mother used to work here. So, for a stroll down memory lane, Melinda asks for a tour of the house, which David leads.
Things start to get interesting here because after the yard sale is over, Melinda is nowhere to be found. There are twists and turns, such as betrayals, deceits and unexpected tidbits of information, on every page. Ivy, big as a house, has to solve this mystery before the baby pops out.
And like some other readers, I pretty much solved the mystery about halfway through. Like I said, it was a simple read. (less)
The title, *The Abortionist's Daughter*, is misleading. You're led to believe that the daughter of an abortion do...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
The title, *The Abortionist's Daughter*, is misleading. You're led to believe that the daughter of an abortion doctor would launch her own investigation. However, it was nothing like the sort.
Dr. Diana Duprey, the abortionist, is found murdered in her own exercise pool at home. The list of suspects is long, including pro-lifers, the religious rights and parents who were clueless of their daughters' abortions.
In addition, Diana's husband, Frank, and daughter, Megan, are also considered suspects. Witnesses have seen or heard Diana's individual screaming matches with Frank and Megan. Megan's guilt has increased exponentially because her last words to her mother were "have fun killing babies."
The entire investigation is complicated. The medical examiner won't do the autopsy because, in the past, she had an affair with Frank. And the detective, assigned to the case, Huck Berlin, crossed the professional boundaries with Megan.
Going back and forth in flashbacks, Hyde constructs the events leading up to Diana's death. During the course of the investigation, there are a few surprises, which must be investigated.
I thought Hyde had something good going for this story. That is...until she chose who would be the murderer and why Diana was murdered. The murderer and the motive just didn't make sense...an immediate deviation from this character's personality. (less)
Sue Grafton is smart to add an interesting element in her ABC series, starting with *S is for Silence*. In *S*, K...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Sue Grafton is smart to add an interesting element in her ABC series, starting with *S is for Silence*. In *S*, Kinsey Millhone has been hired to investigate a 30-year old case of a disappearance. Deviating from the traditional formula from A to R, Grafton allows her readers to get to know Kinsey on a different level.
*T is for Trepass* is no exception. This time, Kinsey has met an adversary in terms of wits. In fact, her nemesis, Sonia Rojas, seems to be two steps ahead of her, which is infuriatingly (is that a word?) frustrating.
Kinsey's grouchy neighbor, Gus Vronsky, across the street, takes a nasty fall and has been confined to his bed for recovery. With no relatives nearby, a great-niece, practically living on the other side of the nation, has been contacted to arrange for elderly healthcare. In a rush, Sonia Rojas has been hired to look after Gus.
Alas, Gus' nightmare has begun! Observant as usual, Kinsey starts to notice, almost immediately, that something is wrong. However, no one else has yet to see the same thing that Kinsey is witnessing. Determined, Kinsey starts to investigate into Sonia and her background. However, Sonia is two steps ahead of her.
*T* is a fantastic book that illustrates our favorite heroine/detective and her witty battles with her adversarial nemesis. In addition, we, as readers, are reminded how elderly abuse and identity theft were like in the 80's. (less)
*Into the Web* is the first time that I've read anything by Thomas Cook. I found him to be an alright writer.
Roy Slater, a professor of a small Californian college, returns home in Kingdom County, West Virginia after 25 years. The reason for the return is to care for his ailing father. Not only does he returns but he revisits the secret that caused him to leave in the first place...one that involved his older brother's suicide.
Within days of his return, someone is murdered. The murder brings back everyone from Roy's past, including Lila, his old flame and Lonnie, the current sheriff who is the exact replica of his father, who literally controlled the area.
Meanwhile, Roy has to deal with his dying father, who is bitter and hard to please. However, over a period of time, Roy's father reveals tidbits that finally answers some of Roy's questions.
Predictably, all of these people and their pasts/secrets bring closure to Roy and the terrible tragedy that led to his older brother's suicide.
I thought the book was alright...not quite a page-turner. I felt that Cook dragged on with revealing information from Roy's father and former love. It was like pulling teeth. Just spill the info and move on already. (less)
I guess I was rushing that day and in my haste, I thought *Season of the Dead* would be somewhat similar to Dan B...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I guess I was rushing that day and in my haste, I thought *Season of the Dead* would be somewhat similar to Dan Brown's *The Da Vinci Code*. Boy, was I wrong!
Nonetheless, I thought this book was long-winded in trying to figure out what is going on and how it ties to the Vatican. Professor Sara Farnese is in the Vatican library, doing her own research when a colleague approaches her. He's carrying with him a gun and a bloody bag, which contains human skin. The Swiss Guards quickly and nervously shoot him to death.
Italian detectives Rossi and Costa, by happenstance, arrive at the scene, only to have a "pissing contest" with the Vatican officials. However, when it is revealed that homicide victims are linked to Farnese, including her dead colleague, Rossi and Costa are determined to find out what is the link. The investigation turns out to include the Vatican, the Mafia, and a serial killer. Meanwhile, Rossi is mesmerized by Farnese and boundaries are blurred.
Sounds like a fast-paced thriller, eh? Except that it's not because it's long-winded, especially with this corrupt cardinal character and too many characters (homicidal victims) linked to Farnese. And when all is solved, I couldn't help but think the whole plot was silly. (less)
*Hate Crime* was just ok. While there were many things going on, some of them really took your attention away fro...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
*Hate Crime* was just ok. While there were many things going on, some of them really took your attention away from the main story. My biggest gripe about this installment was that there was too much focus and unnecessary drama between Ben Kincaid and a mysterious woman, Ellen Christensen.
Ellen comes into Ben's law firm in Tulsa, begging him to take her son's case, in Chicago. Her son, Johnny, has been accused of torturing and murdering a young gay man at his fraternity house. Ben, upon seeing Ellen, flat out refuses. Standing nearby is Christina McCall, who has recently been promoted at partner. Feeling for the mother's plea, Christina decides to take the case, without Ben's blessing.
While Johnny freely admits to torture, he claims he's innocent of the murder. Meanwhile, everyone else would like to get their hands on Johnny, especially a gay activist group. Christina soon realizes that she has a nightmare of a case once she discovers that Johnny's fraternity brothers are members of a Christian organization that is openly opposed to homosexuality and toss Johnny "to the dogs".
At the same time, Mike Morelli, Ben's former brother-in-law, is featured, working on a case with an FBI agent. They've just recently worked on a high-profile and mysterious kidnapping case.
Overall, it was a good book, worthy of reading just to kill time while riding the public transportation. I just felt that almost half the book was focused on why Ben wouldn't help Ellen out. In addition, the sexual overtures were overused between characters, such as with Ben and Christina and Mike and his partner and FBI agent. (less)
*The Butcher's Son* is my first read of anything that's penned by Dorien Grey. I found it to be a good read.
Dick Hardesty is going through a gradual break-up from his boyfriend. The break-up is made a reality when the boyfriend gets offered a new job far away.
Meanwhile, there's a series of arsons against the gay bars in town, eventually resulting in deaths. In the midst of his investigation, Dick encounters twins (one's gay and the other's allegedly disappeared), the homophobic police chief and drag queens.
If you liked Michael Nava's Henry Rios series, then you should like Grey's Dick Hardesty series. (less)
*The Innocent* is a fast-paced thriller that'll make you read through fast and before you know it, you're done.
Matt Hunter has paid for his crime, which was really an accident. A young college man was killed during their brawl. With trying to move on, he has a new life with his pregnant wife and a good secure job.
However, before he knows it, he receives a picture, on his cell, of his wife, who is currently out of town, in a compromising situation with a man. While trying to reach his wife, he soons finds himself on the run from two childhood friends, both of them in law enforcement. At the same time, a nun has been contacted Matt's sister-in-law.
Just who is the man in the picture? And why would his wife jeopardize their marriage? Why are his 2 childhood friends after him? Who is this nun that contacted his sister-in-law? How are they all connected? Thanks to his stint in prison, he's able to block out his emotions, rely on his survival skills and get to the bottom of this mess.
Definitely a nail-biting thriller. I liked all aspects of this thriller except one character, whom I felt was wasteful. Matt visits this particular character in secrecy. When Matt feels trapped, he goes to this character for help but is turned away. So, this particular character is really useless in the storyline. Other than that, it's still a good thriller. (less)
*Binding Ties* is slightly different than the other books and episodes in the series. This particular book only d...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
*Binding Ties* is slightly different than the other books and episodes in the series. This particular book only deals with one case, instead of the usual 2 or 3 at a time.
After a 10-year hiatus, a serial killer is back in action. Or is he? Is there a copycat out there? The CSI team and Captain Brass are determined to find the truth by following the evidence. For Brass, this is personal because this was one of his first cases and it went unsolved.
The whole plot reminded me of the Zodiac Killer, a Californian serial killer in the 60's, whom the police were never able to capture. Then, one day, the Zodiac Killer just simply disappeared.
I found this story plot to be predictable, especially when you only have a small group of people who knew the real contents of the serial killer's killing signature. Just round them up and play the "20 Questions" game. But no, you'll be taken on the long-winded investigation. In fact, don't be surprised if you figured out who's the killer by the half-way mark.(less)
Uh, no. I just could not finish this book. It was a boring read.
There's a heavy and continuous downpour in NYC and there are three crimes that the CSI team need process and solve.
Mac and Don uncover a string of carved victims. Slowly, they realize that they all lead to a man. So, it's a race against time to prevent additional murders from happening.
Lindsay and Danny are investigating the death of a teacher, who is supposed to be loved by the students. Apparently, someone didn't.
Stella and Sheldon investigate a bomb site and a murder at a pub. However, in the midst of their investigation, the pub shakes and crumble, trapping Sheldon and a suspect. It's also a race against time to save the people before the building collapse.
So, there's no real teamwork as they're all split up on three cases. And worse, it's a dry dry dry read. (less)
I got this book as a gift since it is known among my friends that I love Grafton's Kinsey Millhone and Cornwell's...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I got this book as a gift since it is known among my friends that I love Grafton's Kinsey Millhone and Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta. So, I thought I'd love Kathy Mallory. Not!
I am aware that there is a series of Mallory's "adventures". I am aware that one needs to read a couple of other books of the series before rendering a verdict. However, this book alone was enough for me to decide that I won't be reading another book by Carol O'Connell.
In this series, Mallory hits Route 66 for two purposes. One, to find her father or rather, to find pieces of his life. You see, Mallory was a "feral" child before she was caught and adopted by, now deceased, Lou Markowitz, a legendary cop/detective. Two, she's in search of a serial killer who abducts, kills and buries children by the edges of Route 66.
Initially, sounds interesting. However, the Mallory character is hard to relate or sympathize. You could say that despite of it all, Mallory is still feral. She's unapproachable, brash and has a big chip on her shoulder. Sure, people can be tough...but show a little humanity.
Nah. I'll stick with Kinsey Millhone and Kay Scarpetta any day. (less)
Even though *The Little Death* is the first of the Henry Rios series, this book is my 3rd or 4th that I've read o...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Even though *The Little Death* is the first of the Henry Rios series, this book is my 3rd or 4th that I've read on this series.
Henry, burned out as an attory, investigates the death of a young gay man whom Henry had a brief affair before he was murdered. Among his investigations, Henry discovers that this young man, Hugh, was from a very wealthy family.
However, it seems like no one in the family cared about Hugh. This particular family despises each other. Plus, they're caught in their own web of deceit, anger and greed. However, in order to bring justice to Hugh's death, Henry has to sort through the family's skeletons in the closet.
Comparing this book to the others of the series, I loved how Nava started off well in this series' premiere. Nava doesn't just focus on Rios as this gay Latino lawyer. He has Rios address social, personal and legal issues regarding to gays and whatnots. In other words, this isn't one of those erotica books but a series about a lawyer/detective who just happens to be gay and Latino. Refreshing!