After reading Voices Of The Dead by Peter Leonard, I decided that I was going to pick all his books. So when I was offered to review All He Saw Was th...more After reading Voices Of The Dead by Peter Leonard, I decided that I was going to pick all his books. So when I was offered to review All He Saw Was the Girl, I was thrilled. I was notdisappointed at all!
I had a roller coaster ride throughout the novel. It has the ingredients of an action movie. Drug Mafia, kidnapping, car chasing, and a love story. And all that happens in Italy, that too due to a misunderstanding! One American exchange student is kidnapped by mistake and ransom is paid for him. He feels bad about that and decides to get back the money. Without any help from anyone, he takes on the kidnappers and gets involved with the drug mafia, all by himself.
The story jumps from one character to other but it is seamless and certain situations are so hilarious that I chuckled loudly while reading!! Here the black and white smudges into grey. No one is perfect and also no one is totally black, other than the mafia, of course! Seemingly distant situations are related in a such a way that one feels tickled by it.
What appealed to me most was the sarcastic way of thinking by the various characters. That alone makes the novel very delightful!! I am going to read all of Peter Leonard's novels!!(less)
"Leave your guns," said jack. "Take theirs." "Leave our guns?", Matt said. "They are CB guns, Matt," said Clark. "Untraceable." ~~~Page 249
Title: Gods a...more "Leave your guns," said jack. "Take theirs." "Leave our guns?", Matt said. "They are CB guns, Matt," said Clark. "Untraceable." ~~~Page 249
Title: Gods and Fathers Author: James LePore ISBN-13: 978-1611880298 Publisher: The Story Plant/2012 Pages: 261
I love novels with strong influence of espionage and intelligence. Terrorism is an international issue and LePore has dealt with it very well. In fact he does it rather well, in all his novels.
Matt DeMarco is a lawyer and his estranged son Michael is charged with rape and murder of his Girl friend's Yashmin. Debra, Matt's ex-wife is married to a rich Syrian, who seems to have links with Islamic terrorism. Matt has to save his son, who seems to have been set up. When the investigating officers are killed one by one, Matt knows he has to do something about it. This takes him into deep, murky world of revenge, terrorism and killings.
Given the prevailing situation in Syria and the Arab world, I found the novel engrossing. The characters are well developed. And grow on us. Evil is personified very well. I liked the underlying plot. I look forward to read more novels by James LePore...(less)
It is 1874. Running away from Boston, Meggie arrives in Denver and escapes into an isolated Mountain town as a teacher. She assumes the name of Rose R...more It is 1874. Running away from Boston, Meggie arrives in Denver and escapes into an isolated Mountain town as a teacher. She assumes the name of Rose Rochester as she is trying to escape her past. She knows that it would catch up with her anytime and she doesn't have much time to live. She yearns for love but she knows it is unthinkable even to contemplate it.
Somehow or the other, she stumbles upon the very handsome Ethan Rourke at every step. He is just like her secret hero Edward Rochester but she knows, she can't have a future with him. Not with a past like hers. Ethan can feel that strong attraction but can't understand Meggie's reluctance. He can see traces of abuse on her body, somehow can sense her deep sorrow although not understanding the reasons. He also knows about her masquerade.
Ethan feels rejected by Meggie's obssession with Edward Rochester, not knowing that he is a fictional character, Meggie is heart-broken and decides to write a letter to him telling him about her life's story. Each day, she keeps writing something and she knows that she is going to tear it of without sending it to Ethan.
And then her worst nightmare comes true. Her past faces squarely into her eyes. And only her wits and her love for Ethan might keep her alive.
Meggie is not a weak character. She is as strong as her favourite character Jane Eyre. That book is her sustanence. She secretly dreams about Edward Rochester and when she does find him in the fiorm of Ethan Rourke, she knows she has to let him go. Because the monster of her past will come to haunt her. And when tht monster does arrive, she knows, she has to keep him away from Ethan. She is willing to sacrifice herself for her love. She can sense danger, feel the evil as well as the positive vibes.
Meggie's Remains has that right amount of suspense, that pathos of love and also drawn parallel to Jane Eyre. With that tiny bit of supernatural/paranormal, it makes a good read. One is with Meggie all the way and also can feel Ethan's pain at her rejection. With that Gothic touch, it is book well worth picking up.
There are places I go when I am strong. One is a marsh pool where I used to go with a long-ear hound-dog. One is a wild crabapple tree; I was there...moreHaunts
There are places I go when I am strong. One is a marsh pool where I used to go with a long-ear hound-dog. One is a wild crabapple tree; I was there a moonlight night with a girl. The dog is gone; the girl is gone; I go to these places when there is no other place to go.
~Page 70, Selected Poems of Carl Sandburg
Starting with Chicago, this short book of poetry takes us to the real word of the working class. There are no embellishments but these poems speak of the struggle undergone by that class without whom the world cannot move. The poems depict straight from the heart emotions of what he observed and yet contains that mystical, mysterious element. Each poem makes us think and savour the beauty found in the mundane, normal word of the working class, but retains the mystery and needless to say he makes one think. Poetry ought to be like that.
Here I cite few of his poems. See for yourself what do they make you feel and think.
When Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs he forgot the copperheads and the assassin . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs.
And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street, cash and collateral turned ashes . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs.
Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she remember? . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs?
Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries, cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin horns . . . tell me if the lovers are losers . . . tell me if any get more than the lovers . . . in the dust . . . in the cool tombs.
The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.
I Am the People, the Mob
I am the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me? I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world's food and clothes. I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns. I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget. Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then--I forget. When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision. The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.
Some of those poems blew me away completely and made me want to read more of his works. Simply look at this:
Out of the fire Came a man sunken To less than cinders, A tea-cup of ashes or so. And I, The gold in the house, Writhed into a stiff pool. (less)
The Last thing Richard Hilzoy thought before the bullet entered his brain was, Things are really looking up.
Alex Treven, a top shot laywer is scared...moreThe Last thing Richard Hilzoy thought before the bullet entered his brain was, Things are really looking up.
Alex Treven, a top shot laywer is scared to wits when two of his associates are murdered and his house is burgled. All of them are in one way or other, involved in the invention of encryption application and patent for it is pending. Alex has no family, as they are all dead, except for an enstranged older brother Ben, who has not been in the vicinity for the last seven years, not since their mother died.
Alex, after much thought turns to Ben, who is an undercover agent, who is currently in Istanbul, having the dirty job of eliminating terrorists. Or find, fix and finish, as he calls it. Although Ben resents Alex contacting him, he nevertheless arrives to save Alex. Another lawyer Sarah Hosseini, who too knows all about the encryption, has to be taken into confidence. Although Alex trusts her, Ben does not. And he has reasons not too. All the while the resentment the brothers have for each other, boils over and almost escalates into one killing the other.
It has lots of actions, twists and turns of events, the bonding between the brothers, although both don't know it nor show it. Both are likeable in their own quirky ways. One can't write more without revealing the plot and that is not done for crime fiction.
As with most thrillers, it too is unputdownable. One really likes the unhurried, detailed way Ben goes about his work. He knows he has to clean the world and he goes about it in a clinical manner. Barry Eisler is a writer worth checking out. (less)
"All of them? Even the children?" The fireplace stuttered and cackled and swallowed his gasp. Slaughtered?"
The opening lines set the mood and...more"All of them? Even the children?" The fireplace stuttered and cackled and swallowed his gasp. Slaughtered?"
The opening lines set the mood and tone of this novel. How can one wish not to know more? In the village of Three Pines near Montreal, with no crime ratings, a murder is committed. The body is found in a bistro and antique store. The victim is a total stranger and the motive of the murder is almost impossible to find out. And Chief Inspector Gamache arrives with his team to investigate. Even he is flabbergasted.
The villagers are rather closely knit. The Bistro is owned by Oliver and his gay partner Gabri along with B & B next door. Gamache's investigations lead him to a small hut in the deep woods. Now this hut contains priceless antiques. Who owns it and how has he come about the antiques? When Gamache gets into the bottom of it along with his team, Jean Guy Beauvoir and Isabelle Lacoste, he finds the identity of the victim, , the motive, the weapon and the original place of murder. However, the mystery of the murderer doesn't get to be resolved any time soon.
When Gamache gets into the bottom of it, layer by layer, he is just as astounded as as to find the identity of the killer. Although this is not the nail-biting, seating on the edge of the chair kind of mystery, yet it has that cozy feel to it. We do wish to know more. Chief Inspector Gamache is a likeable character, maybe genial at times but has a keen sense of observation and is a force to reckon with for those who are on the wrong side of the law.
What appealed to me most was the eccentric poet, Ruth. She speaks in riddles, yet she has great understanding and depth. Her presence in the book makes it mystical. (less)
Dennis Shore is a writer who specialises in spooky writing. He has always enthralled his readers with his writing which deals with the dark..ghosts, s...moreDennis Shore is a writer who specialises in spooky writing. He has always enthralled his readers with his writing which deals with the dark..ghosts, supernatural elements and the deep dark sides of human mind. After his wife Lucy dies and his daughter leves for college, he finds himself alone and with a writer's block. With massive medical bills and deadline of his book coming up, he does the unthinkable. He publishes an unclaimed manuscript in his possession as his own and gets lots of praise for it.
And from there his trouble start. Cillian Reed, the writer of the book turns up, stalking him at every step. Uncannily, Dennis finds himself in the midst of nightmares like the one he created in his own books. At times, it seems as if the characters he created in his own books have come out to play with his mind. Dennis almost loses it all, his reputation, sanity and of course his life. Yet, he can't talk about it in fearof getting caught for his plagiarising someone else's work. However, when it comes to his daughter, he knows he has to do something to protect her.
Cillian Reed teams up with a serial killer to scare Dennis Shore. That serial killer is someone who has never left any clues, never got caught and kills people with impunity, showing no mercy. When Dennis tries to find out more about Reed, he hits a dead end. It seems exactly like one of his books where there is no apparent explantion for ghostly presence, supernatural elements and horror. Dennis Shore, the creator of spooky novels doesn't believe in those elements. And here, he is forced to believe in those very elements. I really liked Dennis friend Hank, who might be a bit thick in the head but is always there for his friend.
It is my first book by Thrasher. I am going to look out for more books by him. He can totally captivate the reader. The mystery element is throughly maintained along with the right amount of intrigue needed for such novels. Dennis' thoughts are so palpable that they come out of the pages. Hope that makes sense!
Thanks Marcia of printed page for this book. She sent it to me as here June Read I Forward book! [image error](less)
"Their heads are way too big, and their arms and legs are all different lengths. Some long, some just stumps with little fingernails stuck in a semici...more"Their heads are way too big, and their arms and legs are all different lengths. Some long, some just stumps with little fingernails stuck in a semicircle. Even their eyes are different sizes, one larger than the other, and their twisted little noses are hardly there."
Samuel is a 16 year old boy who has lost his mother. He lives with his dad in Georgia. His older brother Jim, is in college and has drifted apart from the family after the loss of their mother. He has do a Video shoot for one of his school project. When his friend David takes him to a family for such a shoot, he simply freaks out. There he sees three babies who are triplets and are totally deformed. Their mother thinks they have been divinely conceived and sees nothing wrong with them.
Although Samuel comes out of the house totally revolted but he can't get those monster children out of his mind. They take up all his waking thoughts. Then he meets the older brother of the triplets, who is a danger for the children. Samuel knows he has to save those children. However, he understands that he has his own demons to kill. Because giving in to the dark impulses is easy and overcoming those is the most difficult task.
We slowly see Samuel emerge from a boy to maturity. He constantly misses his mother. And yet knows that he has to make something of his life. His friendship with mixed races, and with people from different cultures is one step towards that goal. Despite his initial revulsion for the deformed children, he somehow comes to accept them as they are and knows he has to save them from their vile older brother Daryl, who wishes them dead at any cost. Samuel also tries to build bridges with his older brother Jim, whom he had missed so much.
The story is told from the point of view of Samuel and is not really a very easy read. But well worth it. Sang Pak's debut novel really works. His handle of the language is good and he can uncannily know the ways the mind of an adolescent works. That too of one, who has lost his mother. It is all about the darkness within us, which we have to face and ultimately overcome. A coming-of-age novel, with a satisfying end. I just couldn't put it down after I started it.
Shannon Aster, a vet, comes back to West Texas. She had left it as a single mother five years back. Her uncle has left her the farm and she wants her...moreShannon Aster, a vet, comes back to West Texas. She had left it as a single mother five years back. Her uncle has left her the farm and she wants her daughter to have a better life. Despite the betrayals of the past she thinks that West Texas is home for her daughter Kylie.
When she sees Faith, the daughter of Horse Trainer Jack MacGowan, she is amazed. Faith looks exactly like her daughter Kylie and both the girls take to each other instantly. Shannon has to get to the bottom of it. Reluctantly Jack too has to agree. Both find themselves in the midst of mystery about the resemblance of the girls, a lost spanish treasure, and a black stallion who loves Shannan. Somehow down the way, they unite their strengths to get into the bottom of it all.
Someone has kidnapped Mary Beth, Shannon's best friend and is asking for 8 million dollars from Shannon, who doesn't have that kind of money. Although she fears for her friend's life, but she doesn't trust Jack enough to tell him about her problems. What with her daughter's father to coming into the picture, it becomes very difficult for Shannon to fight alone.
The mystery about the girls is solved early enough and both Sannon and Jack try to find the best solution. But who is blackmailing Shannon and what is he after, is not revealed until the end and it comes as a complete surprise. The countryside is beautifully described. With other interesting characters like Allie and Rick (of Lonestar Sanctuary), it is an extremely readable novel. Shannon is a strong individual who makes something of herself even though she has no support and has a young daughter. Jack feels guilty about falling in love with her because he thinks he betrays his dead wife's memory. But both love the little girls, Faith and Kylie, are instantly bonded as soon as they meet.
The book does get repetitive at places but it is easy comfortable read, which gets finished fast. There are so many secrets to be revealed and that is what keeps one hooked. I liked Coble's writing and will look out for more of her books.
Let's pretend things are different. That in the last couple of days, I haven't become the kind of person who resorts to wishing on eyelashes, first te...moreLet's pretend things are different. That in the last couple of days, I haven't become the kind of person who resorts to wishing on eyelashes, first tears of the night, and the ridiculous 11:11, both a.m. and p.m., in earnest and with my eyes closed.
When Ellie's best friend Lucy is murdered in London, Ellie rushes there from Boston, to be with Lucy's eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. After greeting Ellie, Sophie stops speaking. Meanwhile, Lucy's husband has withdrawn into himself and the charge of taking take of Sophie falls on Ellie. Sophie had seen her mother mugged and killed while they were going to school. Ellie loves Sophie and will go to any length to get her back on track.
Sophie, like Ellie is a book lover. Ellie thinks she has the right book to share with Sophie and that can help both deal with their feelings. Hence, both starts on the journey of reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In the process of sharing the secret of that beautiful book, the healing process for both starts in the right direction.
Ellie too has certain issues to deal with in her personal life. Even though her marriage is disintegrating and she doesn't want to go back to her home and husband Phillip, leaving behind Sophie. For a while now, their relationship has gone down the hill. Ellie doesn't know how to deal with it. Sophie and Ellie deal with their griefs in the company of each other. Sophie has nightmares, misses her mother yet loves Ellie and can't think of letting her go. Ellie too can't leave the child even though she knows her marriage will disintegrate. Greg and Ellie become friends, what with Lucy and Sophie being the common bond. When Ellie discovers some secrets about Lucy, she is deeply shocked, about the secret and also about the fac that Lucy didn't trust her enough to share those with her. Lucy knew Ellie would disapprove.
Ellie is the narrator of the story and she understands the value of friendship, and being there at their times of need. She also knows her own deficiencies, although she doesn't know how to deal with it. The sadness is balanced out by the funny, witty moments. The sardonic manner of the narrator is not repelling as that is directed towards herself. And when she away from home, she understands the real value of home and belonging.
The colourful characters of Ellie's parents too take us in, along with her very straight brother. Her husband Phillip, too comes across well. A novel, which totally grips us, the sadness, the funny quirky moments, Gregs' idiosyncrasies, Sophie's childishness, the death of Lucy hanging in the background. And most important of all, The Secret Garden can and does heal Sophie. As it helps Ellie find home finally. After You A Novel(less)
Set in London and Ireland, Yes, My Darling Daughter has all those elements, which can hold the reader's interest till the end. Grace, a single mother...more Set in London and Ireland, Yes, My Darling Daughter has all those elements, which can hold the reader's interest till the end. Grace, a single mother of four-year-old Sylvie, works in flower shop in London. Her daughter is not like any other child. She acts beyond her age and seems to know something which is the beyond the understanding of Grace.
When Sylvie starts to get mean with her playmates and also has frequent tantrums, along with sporadic panic attacks, Grace doesn't know how to deal with it. Sylvie has this unknown fear of water, anything that involves water scares her and she has nightmarish attacks. Sylvie also keeps drawing a small cottage and speaks of stuff, that she has not seen but somehow knows. And then one photograph triggers certain something and Sylvie continually keeps saying it is her home and she lived there. Somehow Sylvie seems to get farther away from Grace. The place turns out to be somewhere in Ireland.
Getting panicky and as a last resort, Grace gets in touch with Adam Winters, a University professor, who has done some studies on Paranormal behaviour of children and also about behaviour pertaining to past lives. After one sesseion with Sylvie, Adam suggest that they travel to Cold Harbour, Ireland and find out what Sylvie is trying to tell them. He has certain theories what must be the reason of Sylvie's behaviour. He warns Grace about violent memories but tells her there is nothing to worry about.
Arriving there, Sylvie recognises the places and also tries to find Lennie. Now who is Lennie? And for that matter who is Sylvie? And when they do find something, Sylvie simply clams up, going silent, withdrawing from Grace. Grace senses and knows that Sylvie is troubled and wants to help her. And Grace is scared too that somehow she might lose Sylvie to something she can't understand.
The past life and present have merged in this novel and the supporting characters somehow make it so plausible. The paranormal element doesn't seem out of context. A book that holds interest and satisfies that something which every reader wants and wishes for. A satisfying feel after reading it. At places Sylvie might feel unlovable but what else can expect from a girl, who had died violently in her past life. Grace, as a mother is supporting, loving and even when not understanding Sylvie's behaviour is always there for her. (less)
The slave woman fell over the cliff's edge toward the black swirl of water that churned over the boulders reaching from the...moreNevis Island. February 1831
The slave woman fell over the cliff's edge toward the black swirl of water that churned over the boulders reaching from the sea.
Meghan Owen is engaged to be married. When her parents die in an accident on the night of her engage party, she calls of her wedding. Going through her father's papers, she finds, she has inherited land in Nevis. She leaves her job to travel there. When she reaches the old plantation House, Eden, she finds letter and papers and an ominous presence of dark secrets. She has to get into the bottom of it and also find out how she is involved in all this.
She learns about the Dall family who had leaved there in the 19th century. Just at that moment the British abolitionists had arrived to free the slaves. The daughter of the plantation owner Catherine Dall, is tormented between her sense of fairness and her family. She loves and cares for the slaves in her plantation. However, she can't escape her destiny. When Catherine discovers some unpleasant truth about her slave, leah, she gets maddeningly angry and tragic strikes in the form of Leah's death. Was it suicide, or was it murder?
Meg too finds that the land that she owns is tainted with the stigma of slavery and stolen money. It falls on Meg to find the secrets and let the ghosts rest forever. She has to balance her present with the historic events that took place so much before her time.
With alternate chapters, the present and past somehow merge and Meg has the big task of bringing justice to the ghosts of the past. With simplistic writing about the complex issue of slavery, Robuck has written a good readable nobel. The secondary characters too are very well etched out. Yes, there is so much sadness. No slave stoy can ever be happy. And every slave story needs to be told. Maybe that way we might be able to learn something from the past. (less)
What led you to pick up this bo...moreTitle: Cold Mountain Author: Charles Frazier ISBN: 0375700757 Publisher: Vintage/1998 Pages: 449/Trade Paperback Rating: 5/5
What led you to pick up this book?
One of my blogger friends sent it to me to read for the Southern Challenge. I had not read it then. It took me a while to pick this book but once I started, I did not stop until I finished it.
Inman is an injured soldier who is disillusioned with the war after fighting in Petersburgh. One day he simply walks out of the hospital he is in, to go to the woman he loves who lives in Blue Ridge Mountains. Meanwhile Ada is trying to survive in the farm left to her by her impractical father. She does not know how to cope up. And help comes in the form of Ruby who refuses to be a servant. Both Ada and Inman's story goes parallel and the highlight is when they finally meet. Inmam meets various kinds of people on his way, prostitutes, slaves, marauders, witches, hunters and many who are so very kind. Despite its starkness and brutality, the novel can be acclaimed as a great piece of work.
What did you like most about the book?
I loved the practical Ruby very much who does not let Ada wallow in self pity. She makes sure that Ada can survive in any circumstances. What did you think of the writing style?
Frazier's prose is mesmeric. It is almost like poetry at places. I was completely into it. It enthralled me.
What did you think of the main character?
Inmam is not a man of many words. He know what he is doing. Like any soldier, he keeps up his spirit at every point. He does not give in to despair. He knows he has to go to Ada and he does so..
How do you think he feels?
He feels strongly about Ada. He hates the war. He is compassionate too, for the weakest of the weaks. He is ever helpul.
What strengths does Ada has that help her cope?
Initially, Ada has no clue how to cope in the derelict farm after her father dies leaving her alone. But she does not leave the Blue Mountain. That way, she is a fighter although Ruby helps her to make her strong.
What effect do the people in the book have on one another?
Ada and Ruby make a great pair. They have a no nonsense air about them and are very good friends for eah other.
Any other particularly interesting characters?
Ruby's father, Stobred, who is a real bastard but still redeems himself somewhat. What do you think of the ending?
The ending brought about mixed feelings. However, under the cirumstances, it was the best ending. Real life does not have fairy tale endings.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes, I recommend this book for all those who like serious reading. It is not a feel good book. It is stark, brutal, hitting you on the guts kind of book. The sombre feelings lasts long after one finishes it. The writing is very good and that is one good reason to read it. It also has a timeless feel to it. A classic in the making. It somewhat made me remind of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Randolph contacted me via email asking me if I woul like to read this book about him. I have never been offered a book by an intelletual dog before. I...more
Randolph contacted me via email asking me if I woul like to read this book about him. I have never been offered a book by an intelletual dog before. I had to say yes. Randolph sent this and the next in series too. I am very glad to know Randolph and his master, Harry.
Randolph lives with Harry who is his master now, by default. Harry's missing girlfriend Imogen is the owner of the dog. He has inherited his love for the printed word from his mistress. Both Harry and Randolph miss Imogen and try to cope with it in their own ways. Randolph is aware that he has to protect Harry from any harm.
Harry, an artist before Imogen's disappearance now dabbles in occults, maybe to learn about her. Somehow in the midst of this a murder occurs. Randolph whose sense of smell is astounding, senses that Harry is in danger. He goes about teaching Harry what's going on...
Randolph loves poetry, he can quote from great many books that he reads when no one is there. He can sift through smells consisiting of various emotions....anxiety, greed, fear and much more. He is funny too unlike Harry. At sometimes, we can't make sure who is the master here. They make a great pair. As the story is told from the point of view of the dog, it works very well here. With wit and humour, Randolph manages to charm us. As a mystery, it is not much but as a dog book, it works very well. I am looking forward to read the next one, A Dog Among Diplomats. (less)