After really enjoying Thor's The Athena Project, I backtracked to this one to see their introduction. Though the moral and political views in this did...moreAfter really enjoying Thor's The Athena Project, I backtracked to this one to see their introduction. Though the moral and political views in this didn't always sit well with me, the story was fierce and engaging. I loved the twist/cliffhanger ending!(less)
I found this book so frustrating because I wanted to like it and it didn't deliver. The main character has the same conversation with 4 different peop...moreI found this book so frustrating because I wanted to like it and it didn't deliver. The main character has the same conversation with 4 different people and in the end doesn't even solve the mystery. We get no answers, and way more backstory than could ever be necessary. Too bad, because the Washington staffer setting is great. (less)
This one ended up so-so for me. I liked the first book in the series (What Angels Fear), but this one didn't grip me as much, and took me a very long...moreThis one ended up so-so for me. I liked the first book in the series (What Angels Fear), but this one didn't grip me as much, and took me a very long time to finish. I also wish that Devlin would make better use of his condition that gives him superior senses. Why have a character with such a cool gift if he's not going to use it? I'll probably give this series one more go before deciding if I want to read them all or let it be.(less)
I liked this entry a bit more than the last few, if only because we got to see Harry struggling with illness. It brought some new perspective and stru...moreI liked this entry a bit more than the last few, if only because we got to see Harry struggling with illness. It brought some new perspective and struggles for her to process and I liked the new characters. The resolution tied up too quickly and suddenly for my tastes, and I'd have appreciated a fuller understanding of the villain's plot. With the 20th anniversary book coming next spring, I'm sure to keep reading this series. (less)
First impressions: I had not heard much about this book. I requested it on NetGalley because I thought the story looked interesting and different for...moreFirst impressions: I had not heard much about this book. I requested it on NetGalley because I thought the story looked interesting and different for the YA market. As soon as I started reading it, I was so happy with my choice to try out this book. It draws you into the mystery from the first pages, and Rain is a terrific teen character.
Lasting impressions: YA contemporary meets mystery/suspense thriller? Full of win!
Conflicting impressions: Okay, so the killer is kind of easy to spot. Luckily there’s a whole lot more happening in this book.
Overall impressions: It would be so easy to just say, “Yeah, this is a murder mystery about a rich private school girl who liked to party.” That screams Law and Order: SVU doesn’t it? It sounds like it’ll be this quick read about a girl who runs off and gets drunk at a party and winds up dead and her friend saves the day by catching the bad guy.
It’s so much more than that.
It’s about how the persona one high school girl chose to present to her classmates warped their perception of her death. It’s about secrets and the price we pay to keep them. It’s about how love and attraction can be mishandled and exploited. It’s about the media’s role in victim blaming, and how the public uses it to feel safer. In short, there’s a lot under the surface of this seemingly simple story.
I appreciated following this plot through the naive eyes of Rain – a girl still recovering from a painful speech impediment and trying to finish high school without drawing more wrath from the popular crowd. Wendy, a vivacious outsider desperate to either fit in or make waves (whichever is more convenient), befriends Rain when few else will. It is that loyalty that drives Rain to find out what really happened to Wendy after she is found dead in Central Park.
Rain struggles to marry the Wendy she knew with the Wendy splashed across tabloid pages and whispered about in the halls. She pushes to find the truth, often through conversations with people she’d rather not have to speak with, and as the events of that night start to unravel, Rain gains the courage to keep right on pushing. She has to make difficult decisions – when to tell the truth, when to state suspicions, when to break a confidence – and she also has to deal with difficult consequences. The question she must answer time and again is “How far will I go to honor Wendy?” Finding the answer to that question is half the fun of this delightful mystery.
Highly recommended to whodunit fans and YA contemporary readers.(less)
First impressions: I adore this series, so I settled right in to the narrative. The book opens with a crime scene, which always makes for interesting...moreFirst impressions: I adore this series, so I settled right in to the narrative. The book opens with a crime scene, which always makes for interesting reading.
Lasting impressions: This was definitely not one of the most memorable crime novels I've read. The book was incredibly slow through the middle, and the ending seemed anti-climactic, despite a lot of action.
Conflicting impressions: The plot revolves around the art world, which seemed to be a really exciting premise, but somehow it didn't quite create a compelling enough story. I found the discovery phase of the investigation quite boring.
Overall impressions: Alexandra Cooper is a great character. She's a wealthy New Yorker, heads the sex crimes division of the District Attorney's office in Manhattan, and relaxes with ballet on the weekends. Her cop friends that help her investigate the crimes are playful, yet tough, and they have a good working relationship accompanied with some old-fashioned ribbing.
Though the book unfurls at a snail's pace, the glimpse into the cut-throat nature of the art bidding process and how rich people build up their collections is quite interesting. I'm not convinced that it was tied in well enough to the actual crimes, however. When the big reveal came at the end, the motivation just didn't quite gel enough to the severity of the crime.
Still, this was a satisfying way to quench my mystery thirst. I enjoy the characters enough to let a little plot fizzle slide, and I'll pick up another Cooper mystery when I get the chance.(less)
This is the series that will never die for me. These characters are old friends by now, and I am so fascinated by their rural Virginia lives that I ca...moreThis is the series that will never die for me. These characters are old friends by now, and I am so fascinated by their rural Virginia lives that I can't stop reading these books. The quality has gone down markedly in the past 5 years, but this one was actually a bit better. Despite Aunt Tally's overboard political speeches, she's still a feisty old woman that I loved having at the center of this one. Harry isn't quite as involved, and the friendship between Tally and Inez is beautiful, providing a great setup for the conclusion. (less)
I am a big fan of the work by anthropologists at the Body Farm in Tennessee, so when I saw this new(ish) series set around its head honcho I snatched...moreI am a big fan of the work by anthropologists at the Body Farm in Tennessee, so when I saw this new(ish) series set around its head honcho I snatched it up. This one had a solid mystery revolving around country folk messed up in illicit doings, but the attempt at romance didn't work for me. I felt the main character was more sympathetic as a mournful widower than as a professor caught up in a strange love triangle with a subordinate and a student (ick). Because I had a bit of distaste for the MC, I'm not sure I'll pick up any more in the series, but I did really love the forensic anthropology angle. (less)