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Monthly "Reads" > Barry's August

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message 1: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3102 comments The Glass Rainbow: James Lee Burke
Burke has painted another book, this one dripping with both the essence of the south, introspection into the characters, and some surprising intimations of mortality. Evil lurks in Louisiana, and Robecheaux can see it clearly, but not see all the links nor the solutions. Yet he persists as he, his family, and his friends stand into danger. (B+)

Star Island: Carl Hiaasen
I wish that Hiaasen's books could recapture his early work, or that I could recapture the innocence that made them seem so outrageous. This was a good book. The really bad guys got theirs, those with a shred of decency saw just desserts, and the good were a wonder to behold. Skink gets good treatment in this book, Iliked that. (B+)

Winter Study: Nevada Barr
If Lee Child's 61 hours did not make you felt cold, this one certainly will, set on an island in Lake Superior in the dead of winter. I thought this might be the first novel without a murder. One did not happen right away, and the limited number of people, and presence of wolf packs wandering the island searching for food, there seemed like plenty of other ways of getting into trouble. Indeeed, the cold alone was enough of a way. (B)

The Appeal: John Grisham
A Morality play. Even if I agree with what he says, I don't need it fed to me in a novel. (B)

The Capitol Game: Brian Haig
If I did not know the author of this book, I would think it was John Grisham. The corporate nature might have tilted me toward Joseph Finder, but the main characters were smart, unlike Finder's TSTL offerings. I might add that I read Grisham when loaned to me, but I don't buy him anymore. One can only take so many morality plays. (B-)

The Taking of Libbie SD: David Housewright
Housewright is always good for a tight story, featuring McKenzie, the ex cop who left the force when he got rich. This time, McKenzie's identity is stolen, and bad things are done in his name. He leaves to set them right, and maybe a few people wind up dead along the way. (B+)

The Vigilantes: WEB Griffin
His Philadelphia police series, and a grim picture indeed. This is co-written with his son, almost a guarantee that the book will not be as good as WEB alone. As always, the book spans a single case, and the case itself is no more important than the relationship between characters. WEB saw into people and could pull it off, the son is learning, and the book was entertaining, but had to relay a bit more on plot. (B)

Lady Killer: Lisa Scottoline
One of the women in my local reading group mentioned that this series had too much estrogen for her. I could certainly understand as I read this, the chick lit element was very much there, but so was the comic element and the mystery. Mary DiNunzio must cope not only with murder, but with the girls she feared most in high school. (B)

The Crime Writer: Greg Hurwitz
A different sort of story for him written from the standpoint of a novelist who is accused of a murder he was not sure he committed due to a brain tumor. As he seeks to find the truth, he novelizes the events around him. I feel compelled to mention that authors like books about authors. (B)

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception: Nancy Martin
Chick lit, to be sure, but I almost had to look and see it was a woman author as the M/C, Roxy, seemed very much a male fantasy in character and actions. The slightly unsavory Roxy maneuvers her way through the murders of a few rich friends, trying to make a dime and find out what happened while holding her family, and less so he love life, together. (B)

South of Shiloh: Chuck Logan
This one took a long time to get going, maybe 200 pages to really set up the story, and 200 more to tell it. Maybe not a bad thing. The story takes place in the deep south, and the laconic pace suited the climate. The M/C, a Minnesotan, stuck out as badly as I would, but as a police and military specialist, was well able to take on the conspiracy he went south to find. (B)

Cherry Bomb: JA Konrath
Continuing my chick lit theme, I read Cherry Bomb. Konrath, as much as I thought he was female, is a male trying to pass. Cherry Bomb continues the contest between Jack Daniels and her nemesis Alex. In the earlier books, bodies have dropped all over, and given that Alex is a serial murdering sociopath, the tend continues. Konrath really delivers in terms of lots of blood presented in a hilarious farce. (B+)


message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Disappointing to read your review of Haig's latest, since I so enjoyed his Sean Drummond series. Anytime the writing becomes more Grisham-like, I usually don't like the books either.

I'm really looking forward to Konrath's next Jack Daniels book. What fun reads the other have been!


message 3: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3639 comments I've read good things about THE GLASS RAINBOW. Has been a long time since I read a Robicheaux book. Maybe I'll give this one a shot.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14835 comments Barry:
Good month! One of the things I like about Lisa Scottoline's books is her deft balance of humor, mystery and I guess it is estrogen! ;)

Barry wrote: "Lady Killer: Lisa Scottoline
One of the women in my local reading group mentioned that this series had too much estrogen for her. I could certainly understand as I read this, the chick lit element was very much there, but so was the comic element and the mystery."



message 5: by Susie (new)

Susie Fevella (susieinks) | 1651 comments Great month Barry! I'm listening to my first book by Carl Hiaasen right now...but I think it's a YA book. I love the J.A. Konrath books ;)


message 6: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8222 comments Interesting books as always, Barry. I have Star island and The Glass Rainbow among the 20 books I have out from the library. I will not be picking up the Chick Lit-ish offerings, however...

Barry wrote: "The Glass Rainbow: James Lee Burke
Burke has painted another book, this one dripping with both the essence of the south, introspection into the characters, and some surprising intimations of morta..."



message 7: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3102 comments Only 20? Must be 7 day "hot reads".


message 8: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 180 comments Melodie wrote: "I've read good things about THE GLASS RAINBOW. Has been a long time since I read a Robicheaux book. Maybe I'll give this one a shot."

I gave up on them after one I hated. Can't remember which one or why! Did he kill off his wife at some point? That may have been it...


message 9: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8222 comments Cathy (Catsluvbooks) wrote: "Melodie wrote: "I've read good things about THE GLASS RAINBOW. Has been a long time since I read a Robicheaux book. Maybe I'll give this one a shot."

I gave up on them after one I hated. Can't..."


Yikes! Spoiler alert!

I just finished The Glass Rainbow and gave it a glowing review. Best Robicheaux I've read in years, even though the plot points are very familiar.


message 10: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3102 comments Some items are a give in the James Lee Burke books, but I have grown to like them more over the years, once I understood how he saw justice.


message 11: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 180 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote:Yikes! Spoiler alert!..."

Oh, sorry....I haven't read one of his in years and years so I figured a fan would be caught up.


message 12: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8222 comments Cathy (Catsluvbooks) wrote: "Carol/Bonadie wrote:Yikes! Spoiler alert!..."

Oh, sorry....I haven't read one of his in years and years so I figured a fan would be caught up."


Yeah, I know what you mean. It's hard to know. I'm caught up on that series, but there are a few series I left for reasons not to do with my enjoyment of them, and plan to go back to. One does take a chance in having something spoilered...


Mary/Quite Contrary Phillips | 459 comments Anyone ever read JLB's daughter, Alafair Burke? She has two series with 3 books each. I read the first one and liked it. She's young and I think she will grow as a writer. DEAD CONNECTION is the first in the Ellie Hatcher series.


message 14: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3102 comments I have been reading her regularly, along with my local reading group. We like her.


Mary/Quite Contrary Phillips | 459 comments She'll be at Bouchercon next week!


message 16: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 180 comments Mary/Quite Contrary wrote: "Anyone ever read JLB's daughter, Alafair Burke? She has two series with 3 books each. I read the first one and liked it. She's young and I think she will grow as a writer. DEAD CONNECTION is the..."

I am reading the last book that she has written right now. They are pretty good, and I'l be looking for more.


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