OK. Some of what Evan Smoak does is unbelievable, but, who cares? This book jerks the reader into the fast-paced, rather incredible world of a retiredOK. Some of what Evan Smoak does is unbelievable, but, who cares? This book jerks the reader into the fast-paced, rather incredible world of a retired undercover assassin. As penance for his previous work Evan has committed himself to helping innocents who cannot help themselves. When a 17 year-old asks for his help, Evan unknowingly steps into a trap, but he is more than capable of helping his client, his next client and himself. I don't want to give away anything of the story, so I will just say I am seeking out the rest of the series, which is helping me survive between Lee Childs' Jack Reacher novels, and Taylor Stevens' Vanessa Munroe novels....more
Reading a mystery set in a place in which I have lived adds an extra dollop of pleasure For me. Although I was glad to get out of Southern California,Reading a mystery set in a place in which I have lived adds an extra dollop of pleasure For me. Although I was glad to get out of Southern California, I like recognizing places--and Santa Clarita and Simi Valley and San Fernando are all familiar place names to me. Harry Bosch is a cop trying to make things right in a bad world--but no longer. Now retired from the LAPD he "volunteers" in a San Fernando cop station, just to keep his hand in, and works mostly trying to clear cold cases--a personal obsession. He has a private investigator's license. The novel opens with Harry accepting a case to help a fabulously wealthy old man find a possible heir. Harry starts looking--the money is good, but he isn't truly interested in the case. The serial rape case he is assisting on in San Fernando involves victims that Harry can fight for, and that is his life's purpose. But suddenly the search for the heir grabs Harry, and I found myself ankle deep in Raymond Chandler territory, with Ross MacDonald there as well, and I was loving it. The old aerospace industry, war, the wealth gained from it, the corruption money causes in people, the tangled lives of generations and cultures--Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer walked these stories before Harry Bosch, and Connelly pays homage, I think, in this novel, to those writers and their characters. Harry's Vietnam experience is always part of his thoughts, and Vietnam figures in the lost heir search as well, but Harry's explanation of why he wouldn't go with his daughter to try a new Vietnamese restaurant stayed with me. Harry is startled that his explanation slips out; he wanted to shield his daughter. In truth, she can never really understand what he tells her. In the last few months I have had odd conversations with old WWII veterans. They shared some of their war with me, and I am aware of how much we are losing as they die off--and how much each of us takes into the dark in unshared memories and experiences....more
**spoiler alert** A bloodied man lies dead in a sports locker room. A police officer sent to locate the man's family stumbles into a blood soaked crim**spoiler alert** A bloodied man lies dead in a sports locker room. A police officer sent to locate the man's family stumbles into a blood soaked crime scene. The victim's family--wife, small daughter, and teenaged son--have been slaughtered in their home. But the boy is not dead. Barely alive, the boy's witness account can help police find the killer before he or she seeks out and kills the boy's sister. A psychologist is persuaded to hypnotize the survivor.
The novel rushes the reader into a gore-filled home and then just as suddenly, into a kidnapping of the psychologist's only child. Then the action slows to a crawl as Dr. Erik and his wife Simone's marriage is explored at length, and his professional life becomes the focus of the book. If the reader persists, all the bits of information, and the minutiae about Erik's patients will draw together in an action-filled ending involving a lake, a cabin and a school bus. I confess I came close to quitting several times, and while this is supposed to be a book about Joona Linn, he is not all that involved in the story. The book is a collaboration of two authors, and it feels like one person wrote the beginning and the end, and the other person wrote the middle and stretched it....more
Michaela Bowden is in Iowa, beginning her campaign to be US President. Marlys Purdy is the chubby lady with curly white hair who intends to kill her,Michaela Bowden is in Iowa, beginning her campaign to be US President. Marlys Purdy is the chubby lady with curly white hair who intends to kill her, but no one but Marlys and her son Cole knows that. Lucas Davenport is no longer a cop, but he needs to figure out who wants Bowden dead and stop the assassination. This involves Lucas in a lot of driving around rural Iowa talking to 60s radicals who haven't quite lost their passion for dissent and revolution. As usual with "Prey" novels, the reader sees both sides--the criminal attempting to evade the law and the detective trying to stop a possible disaster. I found myself sympathizing with Marlys. She is a little bent, but she is not a criminal per se, she is more of a political activist who has gone over the edge. She comes out of the people hurt by the bank failures, the mortgage busts. Yes, I wanted her stopped, but the novel does not have the kind of dark edge of Davenport in pursuit of a truly evil psychopathic killer. It may not be the edge of one's seat thriller most Sandford Prey novels are, but it is still time well spent distracted from one's own problems....more
When I sit down with a Virgil Flowers novel, usually I won't get out of the chair until it is finished. Man, Escape ClauseVirgil Flowers is the best!
When I sit down with a Virgil Flowers novel, usually I won't get out of the chair until it is finished. Man, Escape Clause beats all! Tigers, a fellow that's a part-time Catholic priest, part-time bouncer, two tigers, the requisite sociopath, a pickle factory--what's not to like?...more
I listen to the Diane Rehm all the time, and have been dreading the end of the show this month. Her memoir is a slim volume that focuses on the endingI listen to the Diane Rehm all the time, and have been dreading the end of the show this month. Her memoir is a slim volume that focuses on the ending of her husband John's life, by his choice, by refusing food or liquids. She writes simply with sadness about her loss. I found many places where her emotions touched my own....more
Charleson writes beautifully. I liked what I read. I started by reading the end, then flipped back to read the beginning of the book. I cannot make myCharleson writes beautifully. I liked what I read. I started by reading the end, then flipped back to read the beginning of the book. I cannot make my way through the middle--my fault, not the author's. The 2016 election results and all the news since has made it nearly impossible to settle in and devote myself to reading a book. I haven't finished a book since oh, mid-October. I can recommend this book to dog lovers. I just cannot read it, now....more