I received this book back at the end of May, but I try to publish my reviews once the book is available for purchase. It was hard to not read this one. I really wanted to. There were several occasions when I had the book in my hand, only to succumb to my schedule and read something else. The time finally came to read Sanctus and it was every bit as good as I thought it would be.
Sanctus is a thriller with a strong religious theme. Not to worry, it is neither a recruitment novel nor a religious slam piece. It is simply an exciting, mysterious thriller. From the very beginning, as Samuel climbs from the Citadel only to plunge to his death once nearing the top, the action and mystery suck you in.
The chapters throughout Sanctus are very short, some being only a couple of pages. This worked for me, helping to add to the excitement of what was coming next. There were many times that I was ready to stop reading, but found myself justifying a little more because it was only a couple of pages. As you may have guessed, this was a pretty fast read for me.
I found the characters to be just exceptional enough to justify my reading the book, yet real enough to satisfy that oh so strong skeptic in me. I also enjoyed that the heroine of the story is not introduced right away. The story progresses just a bit before you start to realize who the main character of the book actually is.
I enjoyed Sanctus quite a bit. It really kept me guessing. Towards the end I was sure I had everything figured out. I am happy to say that I was right, and completely wrong. That may sound weird, but once you reach the end yourself, I am sure you will understand what I am saying.(less)
I first became acquainted with John Hart when I read The Last Child back in March of 2010. I remember being truly surprised at how great that book was. John Hart combined thriller, romance, and mystery into an emotionally charged reading experience. I was hoping for something equally as great with Iron House. I got what I wanted.
John Hart knows how to craft interesting characters. I think his success with this is based on ratios. Each character is comprised of greatness, mediocrity, and evil. The magic is in how these are proportioned within each character. There are no cookie cutter characters in Hart's works. They are deep and complicated.
The settings in Iron House were described in a vivid way that was unobtrusive to the plot. The mountains in North Carolina seemed so removed from the rest of the world, adding to the sense of desperation some of the characters felt while forced to be there. The compound of Senator Vane equally added to the nefariousness of his character.
My commute is about an hour each way, so audiobooks are my preferred method to pass the time without going crazy. With some books, I have found it hard to keep focused on the story. But not with this one. It held my interest from the very beginning. I found myself sitting in the parking lot at work trying to justify listening to just a little bit more.
The narration is top shelf. Scott's voice has a deep, raspy timbre that just feels comfortable right away. His pacing and emotion make it easy to identify with the characters, especially the main character, Michael. If you have not listened to many audio books, this would be a great one to start with. There is plenty of action and suspense, and hearing it, somehow makes it just pop.
It is rare that I give a book a five out of five rating. I feel this one deserves it. Iron House is a hard charging thriller with lots of action and suspense. But it is also an intense psychological thriller, with deep characters that are both flawed and exceptional. The narration by Scott Sowers makes this experience a memorable one.(less)
I typically enjoy fast action, suspense thrillers. I am usually able to set realism aside, and enjoy a good shootem' up story. But the action in Spycatcher is so far removed from reality that it was just not an enjoyable read. The main character, Will Cochrane, was able to endure so many injuries and still function that there was no suspense. It was a given that he would walk away from whatever the bad guy could dish out.
The characters were mostly one dimensional stereotypes. Few had any development at all. It seemed like they were pulled from various spy movies and just thrown into the plot with little planning. The dialogue did not flow well and I admit I found myself skimming quite a bit just to get through this one.
This one just did not work for me. It seems people either loved this one or hated it. You will just have to decide for yourself.(less)
What would you do if someone you loved was horribly murdered right in front of you? Liza is forced to go into hiding with her father after her mother is shot outside of their home. How can she possibly deal with her loss while becoming someone new in a witness protection program? Father and daughter search for a way to exist while living in mortal danger each day.
The first section of this novel deals with Liza's loss of her mother. It is very emotional. I found myself with tears in my eyes at several points. The situation she finds herself in is so horrible, yet so plausible, that it easy to walk in her shoes and feel her pain.
The middle of the book focuses on Liza and her father moving around to avoid the bad guys. It was, honestly, a bit boring. After such an emotional start to the book, I expected things to move along at a quick pace, but they did not. I stuck with it, though, thinking that the plot was building to a big finale, or at least some more action. But I was wrong.
The climax never happens in the novel. I really dislike novels that end with no resolution. It can be negative or positive, but I need resolution. Otherwise, what is the point? That is exactly how I felt at the end of this book. I was asking myself, why would someone write a book that goes nowhere?
I give this one a three out of five. The beginning was really good, but after that, there just was not much there.(less)
The story picks up only a few hours after the events in the last Madriani novel, The Rule of Nine, left off. Paul is being questioned by the authorities and investigator Herman Diggs is fighting for his life. Liquida learns the location of Paul's daughter and everyone rushes to save her. But is that all that Liquida is up to?
I have read many fast action thrillers, but I have to say, this may be one of the fastest I have come across. Being new to the series, I was a little lost for a few chapters, but that was ok. I was able to pick up enough to figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guy was. I found myself drawn into the characters without even realizing quite how they related to each other.
The narrative switches between third person past tense and first person present tense, the latter being used solely for the main character, Paul Madriani. I believe Martini is using the present tense to make the action pop a bit more, however, I found it distracting. I was able to move on and read and enjoy the book. But each transition to the present tense gave me enough pause to be distracting.
I enjoyed the plot and the considerable globe-hopping that took place throughout the book. I had no idea where I would end up next. The ending of the novel was my favorite part. I am not going to give you any spoilers, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at how things worked out for Liquida. Martini gives us a strong resolution with just a bit of comedy. Perfect. (less)
When Dave Gurney put his retirement on hold to assist in solving the Mellery case, he thought it would be the last time. But when his old friend, Jack Hardwick, asks him to meet with the mother of a recent murder victim, Dave finds his curiosity hard to deny. He soon finds himself investigating not one murder, but the murders of several young girls who had been treated for sexual deviances.
I will warn you now, this one is a page turner. I found it very hard to put down, I just had to keep reading one more page. We have all come across authors whose work just seems to flow right out of their mind and into ours. Verdon is one of these authors. I can honestly say, this was my favorite read of the year so far.
This novel falls somewhere between cozy mystery and high action thriller. There are, certainly, many scenes where the action is riveting, but they do not overwhelm the story. The pacing is somewhat relaxed, like a cozy mystery, but the plot and investigation is much more intellectual. The overall feel of this novel is refreshingly unique.
The characters in Shut Your Eyes Tight are interesting, yet believable. The main character, Dave Gurney, is an incredible investigator, but he has problems with his marriage. His wife wants a simple quiet life, yet she understands her husband's need to exercise his mind. All of the characters have many sides and are sometimes unpredictable, making all that more human.
The mystery genre has a new name to add to the list of its elite. John Verdon's Dave Gurney novels are fast becoming required reading. We can only hope there are many more Gurney novels in our future.(less)
Probably the most popular fictional spy, James Bond, was created by British author Ian Fleming. He authored twelve novels and two collections of short stories featuring agent 007. After his death, James Bond lived on in new novels from authors Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastion Faulks, and now Jeffery Deaver.
I was pretty excited when I found out Deaver was writing the next Bond novel. I have been a huge fan of his work for many years now. I look forward to his new offerings each year. So I grabbed this one up and figured I would tear through it in just a couple of day. But I was wrong. I found this one hard to finish.
I hate writing negative reviews, but I feel I must with Carte Blanche. I have read many other reviews of this book and most people tend to disagree with me. Most talk about the fast action and the famous Deaver twists. There is some action and, for sure, the plot twists that have made Deaver so popular. But I felt that the book did not flow well.
Throughout the book I felt almost as if I were reading mini commercials for various products. There was too much detail about the foods being eaten or the alcohol being consumed. I know James Bond is supposed to be suave, but it came across as a little condescending.
The book was not a total loss. The villain was interesting. His obsession with death made him a bit dark for a Bond novel, but I think that actually worked well. The ending of the book was better than the beginning. Things seemed to pick up a little at least.
Overall, I was not a fan of this one. I do love Jeffery Deaver as an author and look forward to what he releases next.(less)
Air Force Lieutant-General Patrick McLanahan is back for another adventure. The United Stated is trying to recover from economic ruin. McLanahan is forced into action when terrorists launch an attack with a dirty bomb on Reno, Nevada.
This was my first novel from author Dale Brown. In researching for this review, I learned that A Time for Patriots is book number seventeen in the Patrick McLanahan series. The book started out with some intense drama and I just knew I was going to love it. Secret weapons and high tech devices, what's not to like?
But I found myself losing interest after the first third of the book. There were parts that were good and held my interest, but overall I lost interest. It seemed like every paragraph I read mentioned the Civil Air Patrol. I am sure it is a fantastic organization, but the author played that record to death. By the time I was finished with the book, I had decided that I would never read another book that even mentioned the Civil Air Patrol.
If I had read some of the previous books in the series, I might have had a different opinion. I am sure the side story lines have deeper meaning to those that have plugged their way through the series. Without having the emotional investment in the characters, a lot of the book was dry at best. I highly recommend reading your way through the series before taking this one on.
Overall, I give this one a three out of five. The beginning of the book was gripping and held my interest. I enjoyed the author's view on the economic health of the United States. The rest of the book did not work for me, but I will just chalk that up to beginning a series at book number seventeen.(less)