Fighting the Devil By Jeannie Walker Reviewed by Patricia A. Guthrie
Fighting the Devil could scare Lucifer out of anyone who’s perceptive enough to knoFighting the Devil By Jeannie Walker Reviewed by Patricia A. Guthrie
Fighting the Devil could scare Lucifer out of anyone who’s perceptive enough to know he’s there and may be living with them.
Millionaire Jerry Sternadel is admitted into Bethania Hospital in Texas for a mysterious illness that baffles his doctors. He recovers and the next day he’s admitted again for the same symptoms. After three recoveries and three admittances, on July 12, 1990, he dies. By this time, authorities have already conferred with hospital officials.The diagnosis; arsenic poisoning.
Jerry discovers thousands of dollars missing from his plumbing business. After investigating, he realizes his bookkeeper, Debbie Baker embezzled funds from his accounts and demands the money back. He gets more than he bargained for when some not-so-healthy doses of arsenic turns up in a lunchtime taco salad and is discovered in the cran-apple juice in his refrigerator. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and becomes ill after he drinks the juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. He still suffers some after effects of the poison.
As we follow the story, we watch Lou Ann Sternadel and Debbie Baker feeding him fluids as he lies in his hospital bed. When Jerry realizes he’s being poisoned, he tells everyone who will listen; loudly. Terrified, he struggles to get away from the “two women.” Thinking he’s hallucinating, the hospital staff strap him down because he’s “out of control.”
The author, Jeannie Walker, ex-wife of Jerry Sternadel, becomes suspicious of her ex’s mysterious illness and death and decides to investigate.
We follow Ms. Walker’s journey from the first phone call from her daughter to the arrest of one of the two perpetrators to the woman’s bewildering sentence; ten-years probation for a first degree murder conviction. We learn of numerous probation violations each one caught and fought by the family of the victim, until she finally violates one too many times and lands in prison for her ten years. And, what about the other culprit? Jerry Sternadel’s second wife? Is there a beach in the Bahamas with her name on it? After all, she’s inherited her husband’s estate, horses, cattle and life insurance policy.
And two years later, we learn that a bottle of arsenic is found in a storage locker rented by Debbie Walker.
What’s interesting and sometimes tedious, is her offering the same information over and over. But they come from different people’s perspectives, from the sheriff, the deputies, the DA,forensic experts, friends and family of the victim. You learn about the family through their tragedy, and the son who’s almost framed for Jerry’s murder. You get to know the criminals involved in the case. The detailed descriptions of arsenic poisoning, the stages and final death of the victim is fascinating and not for the faint of heart. The glossary at the end of the book gives the reader the valuable information needed to understand terminology and a lesson in poisoning and forensics.
Ms. Walker has a knack for detective work.Her story is fascinating. This book reminds me of Anne Rule’s true crime dramas.
Her weakness lies in her inexperience in writing. The book was written as it happened, and each character explains the events in his point of view. But, her writing technique needs polishing, a learned and practiced skill. Instinct in detective work is a God given talent.
If you like romantic suspense novels, a feisty courageous heroine, who didn’t know she had itCold Comfort By Ellis Vidler
Review by Patricia A. Guthrie
If you like romantic suspense novels, a feisty courageous heroine, who didn’t know she had it in her, a hunk for a hero who hadn’t found his sensitive spot–yet, and a few really nasty villains who will do anything to murder the heroine thrown in to muck up anyone’s day, you’ll love “Cold Comfort” by Ellis Vidler.
Picture yourself as an owner of a cozy little Christmas shop called “The Mistletoe.” You’ve been talking to people all day, keeping an eye out on the lines of children brought in by parents to see your finely decorated Christmas trees. You’re dead tired, and your feet hurt. Home at last. You get out of your car and—wham! You’re attacked from behind. And not in a purse snatching way either. Someone is bent on murder–yours.
That’s what Claire Spencer faces in the beginning of Ellis Vidler’s romantic suspense novel “Cold Comfort.” And the deadly games have just begun. Someone really wants her out of the way.
Fortunately, Claire has friends who has friends with law enforcement backgrounds., Enter Ben Riley who doesn’t want to protect anyone, much less a woman. Women get in the way. And get in the way she does, just not in the way Riley expects. In fact, Riley muses “When he finished this job, he was moving to Tahiti—with no forwarding address.”
I loved this story. It has many twists and turns, taking our hero and heroine off in one direction then another, and I, who was convinced knew who the culprit was, am no longer sure.
Vidler fills her story with details that either sent a chill up my spine or made me laugh. Her description of the car of the attacker with its mismatched headlights led to furthering the plot. One of the characters had wide expresso eyes. Sentences like “Appearing out of the shadows cast by the streetlights, a shapeless figure in a dark overcoat jaywalked toward Claire’s side of the street.” And the clouds that formed from Riley’s mouth. These are examples of the richness of the text.
The dialogue was fun. One choice goodie from Claire to Riley “I’ve met pit bulls easier to talk to than you” and the description of a psychopath, directly from his own mouth: “I could have handled it if you hadn’t hooked up with that Riley guy—this is all your fault.”
I could make a few criticisms. In general, as fast paced as I think this novel is, I found dead spaces that slowed it down a bit too much. Claire’s need for a “stable, conventional life and a husband to share it with, a nine-to-five kind of guy who’d be there for her. She needed children to bake cookies for.” (She likes to bake cookies a lot) was one of the redundancies I found along the way.
Some clichés stepped me out of the story. “. . . angry red scratches marked her right cheek, and to complete the picture, she sneezed.” I liked the sneezed part but I’m tired of reading about “angry bruises, scratches etc” and the “complete the picture.”
I saw and felt the growth of both characters as the story moved on. Claire, the sheltered girl with little experience of the outside world uses all her instincts and courage to outwit the villains. She’s brave, feisty and has a bad habit of doing things her own way, even when it was against bodyguard rules. Riley finds the sensitive part of himself he didn’t think existed and didn’t want to exist.
I found “Cold Comfort “an absorbing well-written book, with fun dialogue, expressive detail and generally face paced. What faults I found, were miniscule and not even noticed had I not been looking for them.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ellis Vidler. It won’t be the last. ...more
Sylvia Browne explores various cultural and religious inputs to how the world will end. I found it fascinating that so many cultures from various perioSylvia Browne explores various cultural and religious inputs to how the world will end. I found it fascinating that so many cultures from various periods of time and space had similar concepts...more
Joseph R. Conlin's text An American Past Part One: A Survey of American History to 1877 is a book I totally underappreciated while I was using it as aJoseph R. Conlin's text An American Past Part One: A Survey of American History to 1877 is a book I totally underappreciated while I was using it as a text in college. I've been reading the newly released A Patriot's History of the United States and while I'm fascinated, it doesn't go into the detail like Conlin's book. So, I'm finding myself doing research (like) work going between one book and another. Why am I doing this? I'm suddenly finding myself interested in the politics of the present U.S. government and I want to find out if the phrase "those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it." So far, I'm finding some interesting similarities.
I find this about the most interesting versions of American History. I'm not finished yet. Because it's a history book (and it's 900 something pages lI find this about the most interesting versions of American History. I'm not finished yet. Because it's a history book (and it's 900 something pages long, at least on my Kindle which has a larger font) I'm reading it in increments.
I'm also supplementing this book with Joseph R. Conlin's The American Past Part One. (up to 1877) This is also a marvelous book which goes into details about local culture and tidbits about famous people.
i'm afraid all my Jane Austin books rate a five star. Pursuasion deals with a well-top-do family who suddenly finds themselves out of their mansion ani'm afraid all my Jane Austin books rate a five star. Pursuasion deals with a well-top-do family who suddenly finds themselves out of their mansion and into a much lesser social rank. Again, Jane Austin delves into the social classes in England, how this effects the job levels and the marriage prospects of the female family members.
It's been a while since I read this. I wish I could go into more detail for you.
this book is the quintessential romance of all time. (well, that may be an exaggeration, but not totally) Jane Austin's character development is suburbthis book is the quintessential romance of all time. (well, that may be an exaggeration, but not totally) Jane Austin's character development is suburb, the "nasty" characters have a humerous trait to them and the h/h definitely have flaws which keeps them apart, then brings them together.
I loved the book, I love the BBC production and the movie. Can't get enough of it. There was also two sequels which boarded on the erotic. I loved those too==and that was because I wanted to find out what happened to those characters.
Have you heard of the Left Behind series? Silly question. Of course you have.
I've finally decided I'd readSaturday, November 22, 2008 What I'm reading
Have you heard of the Left Behind series? Silly question. Of course you have.
I've finally decided I'd read it and "kindled" the book. Mistake. I probably should have taken it out of the library. Think about this. There are twelve-thirteen? books in the series. Each one costs between 5 and 10 dollar a piece. Figuring the usual $10 kindle price, if i were to buy twelve of these, it would (will) run me $120
For a book. That isn't a masterpiece or a piece of antiquity. So what's the draw for people to lay aside their hard-earned and possibly disappearing cash?
It's not that well written. (Sorry Timothy LaHaye) It's simplistic and the characters are not well developed. Plus, redundancies! Don't even get me started. If they cut all the repetition, they'd probably have a long "The Stand" type novel.
But, the story about the end of times, the coming of the Anti-Christ and the Tribulation has me hooked.
So my point? Despite all it's deficiencies, it's a darned good story. And, by golly, it's brought my attention back to my bible. (even if it is to Revelations)
It's been so long since I've read this. But I always got such a chill when I did. I wonder what it would be like if we stumbled onto another planet anIt's been so long since I've read this. But I always got such a chill when I did. I wonder what it would be like if we stumbled onto another planet and others inhabited the place. Hmmm. I' sure they're are plent books about that too. ...more