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Monthly "Reads" > Barry's April

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message 1: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3136 comments Long Lost: Harlan Coben
A Myron and Win adventure, and the most ambitious yet. Much of the story takes place in France, and some good French characters should help with Harlan's European fan base. The ambitiousness comes from the global scope of the adventure, and the magnitude of the task Bolitar takes on. I couldn't put it down. (A-)

Beat the Reaper: Josh Bazell
This is a first work, new author, and reads like Scrubs meets the Sopranos, likely because the author is a doctor, but with quite the streak of mob in him. As a first work, I would rank this up with Huston or Duane Swierczynski in both tone and quality. You just might like Dr Hit-Man. (A)

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death: Charlie Huston
Much like Shotgun Rule, you almost had to trust that there was a story buried here, and that eventually it would come out. I think there was and it did, not so much of a coming of age as just "growing up". It was a strange and violent rowing though. (B)

Pretty Girl Gone: David Housewright
Housewright cements himself in my pantheon of underrated authors here with an exceptionally strong M/T performance. His wealthy, ex-cop PI operates out of the Twin Cities, and fits in well with the Lucas Davenport mold that Sanford has created, except Housewright's McKenzie seems to get beaten upon and shot with much greater frequency. The political nature of this story makes the plot complex, and brings out the character of the protagonist well. I look forward to reading more Housewright (though I sem to be mired in backorders, as most of his stuff is out of print). (A-)

Madman on a Drum: David Housewright
While I am happy I have found a worth successor to Jeremiah Healy, I am noticing that I am about running out of books to read by Housewright. At least he is still writing. Madman places the M/C, McKenzie, in a situation where he needs to act to protect himself and those around him. As always, the mystery is deep and multifaceted, the thrills are there, and McKenzie gets hurt, more than once, and hurts others, more than once. (B+)

Tin City: David Housewright
I feel so badly about just how out of order I have gotten on this series, but I'll blame the library, used book store, and Borders backorder for my sins here, as I really like these books and did not want to wait to accumulate the series. There have been some problems with the books referencing events I have not yet been exposed to, but not in any way that will really hurt me.
Tin City has a goodly portion of its action take place in a trailer park, hence Tin City. McKenzie needs to avenge the death of a friend, and the rape of another. This is a peculiar concept, as even the hero realizes, that the events cannot be undone, and jstice does not help the wronged.
But since when does an avenging angel worry about concepts like that? (B+)

Dead Boyfriends: David Housewright
Another in the McKenzie series, courtesy of the next town's library, and the local library compact that lets me use them as if they were my own. McKenzie again sees an injustice to right, but along the way, loses track of who has performed the injustice, and upon whom, and in the end, who deserves to be brought to task, if anybody. A wonderfully complex and multifaceted mystery. (B+)

Dearly Departed: David Housewright
This is what happens when the library is good to me, I go to town on an author, this time David Housewright, and down a decade of his writing n a couple of weeks of reading. Mind you, I'm not complaining, I've enjoyed his work, and if anything, I'm disappointed that I have little to look forward to but one past book, and current/future writing. In this tale, the last of the Holland Taylor series, he chases a woman that everybody else has assumed is dead, and makes some discoveries about both the woman he chases, and himself. (B+)

The Court: William Coughlin
Sort of a legal thriller, but the court cases were tangential, the main story was was a lawyer, somewhat burned out, somewhat trying to learn who he was and what he wanted, who was dispatched by the White House to determine if a particular candidate for the Supreme Court had what it takes. (B)

Dead Silence: Randy Wayne White
Another author who has been changing the nature of his long standing series. Doc Ford started out much like Travis McGee, a modern knight of uncertain past. White has, in the last few books,. revealed much more of Doc Ford's past, and the books have taken on more of a spy/thriller bent. (B+)

Under Cover of Darkness: James Grippando
From 2000, one of a series of books that followed the big cult murders by featuring a cult. A high powered lawyer loses touch with his wife, then loses his wife tothe cult and realizes his mistake. Of course it goes deeper than that, but also, he has trouble ending the book. (B-)

Son of a Witch: Gregory Maguire
The sequel to Wicked in the Wizard of Oz world. I might stop here, not ttat this was so bad, just that I don't really care anymore for an Oz where Dorothy is gone (minor character that she was), the Wizard has left, and the Witch of the West, the most interesting of the characters, is dead at Dorothy's hand. This tale follows the son of the witch as he seeks justice in Oz. (B)

Listen to the Silence: Marsha Muller
I keep saying "best ever" with every Muller I read. Probably because I am reading in order and the developing series is getting better, and I stil have a ways to go to get current. In this episode, Sharon learns that she is adopted, and finds her birth family embroiled in a land development controversy. (A-)

Princess of Wands: John Ringo
As if I have not put up with enough with Ringo's constant proselytizing for his political viewpoint, now he feels the need to push his religion on me as well. (C)
The Last Cactus: Daniel Schrager
I almost thought Dan had gone over to the dark side in this one, owing to how strongly the mobster was featured early in the book. I should have know better, bad deeds do get punished, and long suffering librarians win. (B)

The Mosquito War: VA MacAlister
From deep on the TBR shelf, a thriller about a plot to spread malaria in the US.Strong start, uneven finish. (B)

Remember the Alamo: Randle/Cornett
I'm not even sure why I read this, a fairly low grade piece of science fiction. Probably because it had Alamo in the title, was about the Alamo, and I am the guy who drove an extra 400 miles just because a business trip took me that close to the Alamo. But still...a combat team going in to the past to win the battle for Texas so an oil tycoon coul profit? (B-)


message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Barry wrote:
Pretty Girl Gone: David Housewright
Housewright cements himself in my pantheon of underrated authors here with an exceptionally strong M/T performance. His wealthy, ex-cop PI operates out of the Twin Cities, and fits...

I had never heard of Housewright, but his books sound good. Thanks for the recommendation, Barry.



message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 15083 comments Barry: If I wasn't listening to Long Lost on audio, I would be having a hard time putting it down too! and I loved Marcia Muller's Listen to the Silence. That book and While Other People Sleep are two of my favorites from a favorite author.

Barry wrote: "Long Lost: Harlan Coben ....Listen to the Silence: Marsha Muller
I keep saying "best ever" with every Muller I read. Probably because I am reading in order and the developing series is getting better, and I stil have a ways to go to get current. In this episode, Sharon learns that she is adopted, and finds her birth family embroiled in a land development controversy. (A-) "





message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 15083 comments Barry: I hadn't heard of Housewright either. The library has six of his books in circulation. They should have seven, but Pretty Girls Gone is missing. Thanks for the tip!

Marcy wrote: " I had never heard of Housewright, but his books sound good. Thanks for the recommendation, Barry."




message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1238 comments Beat the Reaper: Josh Bazell
This is a first work, new author, and reads like Scrubs meets the Sopranos, likely because the author is a doctor, but with quite the streak of mob in him. As a first work, I would rank this up with Huston or Duane Swierczynski in both tone and quality. You just might like Dr Hit-Man. (A)


I enjoyed this on audio, the footnotes were integrated well and the first person narration was very engaging. Some of the violence was a bit hard on the ears though. Will have to put Duane Swierczynski on the TBR.


Cindy/Massreader (cindymassreader) | 29 comments I loved Beat the Reaper! It was the first book in long time that captivated my attention - and had me repeating OMG OMG when I finished it! I have recommeneded to family members (one, a 3rd year medical resident who says she has met doctors like that!, especially as a beach read. I was thinking it was like House meets Sopranos (the MC is a little dark for Scrubs, Barry!)

Cindy


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