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Monthly "Reads" > Barry's October

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message 1: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3111 comments On The Line: SJ Rozan
I thought I would read a couple lines of this with breakfast, then head out and do productive things. Big mistake on my part, this was the best cliff hanger I have read in years, and would have been beyond perfection if Lydia did not have too small a part. I accomplished nothing today, until after I finished the book. (A)

The Reversal: Michael Connelly
Must be a god book month fo me. The Reversal brings Mickey Haller (2/3 of the book) together with Harry Bosch (1/3 of the book) with appearances by Rachel Waller and both of Mickey's ex-wives. Haller is in the unusual position of special presecuter for a retrial of a serial killer that had been released on DNA evidence. Heues harry as his investigator. They may not see eye to eye, but their differences play well against each other, and it was a god introduction to Harry as a father. This let Connelly pull back a bit form the excess of 9 dragons as well. (A)

Bad Blood: John Sanford
A Virgil Flowers book. Sanford's dry humor comes through, along with a complex backwoods mystery. He gets the girl too. (B+)

Queen of the Night: JA Jance
The best work Jance has done in a while. She really seems to have hit her stride when she writes about the Desert people, the Tohono O'Odham. The books have a good mystery/thriller component, fully developed characters, family members whose life and relationships have grown and changed over time, and many people, both good and bad. On top f it all, a deep mystical element that the Indian nation brings. (A-)

Painted Ladies: Robert B Parker
Spenser, entertaining as always. I'll miss you Roert B Parker. (B+)

Worth Dying For: Lee Child
This was not really a sequel to 61 hours, you have to go more than 100 pages to get a paragraph hinting at the end of the last book.
This is the usual Lee Child thriller. Reacher against hard odds, on the side of good, though you might question the goodness of some of his acts. I guess you might question an avenging angle as well. If you have liked the others, you will like this. Very readable. (B+)

I'd Know You Anywhere: Laura Lippman
A big improvement, I could not get through the last one, but Lippman has come a long way in writing taut psychological thrillers. This one is 20 years beyond a woman's kidnapping and rape, when the guy who did it is about to be put to death and wants a final talk with her. (B+)

True Blue: David Baldacci
AN ex-cop and ex-lawyer, both TSTL go up against elite government agents that are too inept to stop them. Hard to tell if justice prevailed in the end. (B-)

Three Stations: Martin Cruz Smith
Fairly standard fare for him, given that I believe he peaked very early with Gorky Park. Arkady Renko is back living a hopeless life in a hopeless place, and trying to solve crimes the system does not want solved. (B)

Criminal Paradise: Steven Thomas
A first effort, and not a bad start. The generally criminal characters work a bit toward answering whether there is honor among thieves (some) and make more progress on the subject of whether there are any brains (no). On the negative side, any book that needs an afterward to fill in the gaps was lacking to start with. (B)

The Adventures of Slim and Howdy: Bill Fitzhugh, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn
I thought the writing had Fitzhugh all over it, while the story line seemed Brooks and Dunn like. A couple of singers with a rough Texas background get together and solve some problems, make some others. (B+)

Bone by Bone: Carol O'Connell
Who would have thought Archie Bunker had a book like this in him! A wonderful, complex mystery set in a dismal little town on the California coast, a military cop returns home to solve the 20 year old murder of his brother, and experience all the other dirty little secrets around him. (A-)

Bone Dry: Ben Rehder
The time and place is the same as it would be for a CJ Box novel, but the game warden in Rehder's series does not track brilliant and stealthy murderers, but bumbling and stupid ones. Makes for a more amusing chase. (B)

Angle of Attack: Robin White
An older cold war(ish) thriller, set in a time we were still trying to figure out if Russia was a friend or enemy. The story mostly went nowhere. (C+)


message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Great month, Barry. I also read I'd Know You Anywhere by Lippman this month and enjoyed it. Sorry to learn that Three Stations was a bit disappointing. Hard for anything to live up to Gorky Park, imho.


message 3: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8255 comments Impressive, Barry. Reading your lists always makes me want to sign off and go read. Of course I never do, which is why i read 3 books and you read 103.


message 4: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3641 comments Great month! I read the Spenser book this month, too. The Slim & Howdy books sounds different!


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14967 comments Barry:
You were so right about On the Line and I LOVED Carol O'Connell's Bone by Bone. I plan to start the J.A. Jance Brandon Walker series. I haven't read anything of hers in years and should have. She was a very personable person when I met her twelve years ago. I have Hour of the Hunter (book one) on my Kindle waiting for me to start it.

Barry wrote: "On The Line: SJ Rozan
I thought I would read a couple lines of this with breakfast, then head out and do productive things. Big mistake on my part, this was the best cliff hanger I have read in ..."



message 6: by Susie (new)

Susie Fevella (susieinks) | 1653 comments So many great books this month Barry!!


message 7: by Barry (last edited Nov 01, 2010 05:14PM) (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3111 comments Slim and Howdy was a funny story. I've been looking for this book for a couple of years, but it was out of print everywhere, and even had a premium price at Amazon. I stopped in the local dollar store to get some chips, and there was a whole stack of them, with the included CD, for a buck apiece.


message 8: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Hey, I'm headed to my dollar store tomorrow. Even if they don't have it, I always find stuff I "need" ;-)


message 9: by Brakedrum (new)

Brakedrum | 1203 comments Barry wrote: "On The Line: SJ Rozan
I thought I would read a couple lines of this with breakfast, then head out and do productive things. Big mistake on my part, this was the best cliff hanger I have read in ..."


I have a few Bill Fitzhugh's book lying around here somewhere on my tbr pile.


Mary/Quite Contrary Phillips | 459 comments Barry...great month with several of the same books I enjoyed. I was thrilled that Virgil got the girl. Sandford's characters don't seem to do well in the bedroom. I have that Carol O'Connell and may make it my "paper" read of the month.

Your tee shirt is on the way...thanks for being patient as I try to get stuck back into reality after my extended vacation.


message 11: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3111 comments I need an extended vacation.


Mary/Quite Contrary Phillips | 459 comments Barry...I hear you. I took 2 and 1/2 weeks off and that was the longest break I have had in 30 years. It was great!


message 13: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2707 comments Three Stations: Martin Cruz Smith
Fairly standard fare for him, given that I believe he peaked very early with Gorky Park. Arkady Renko is back living a hopeless life in a hopeless place, and trying to solve crimes the system does not want solved.

What I really like about these books is that he doesn't rely on slick author tricks to "solve" the crimes. Renko's plodding style and battles with internal politics are much closer to reality than the "three flip-flops in the last two pages" that some of the polular authors seem to be stuck on. Kind of like the difference between Barney Miller and CSI.


message 14: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 3111 comments I still read them because his approach to crime solving is so different (by necessity). Resistance from one's superiors is the lot of the working man everywhere I think.


message 15: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2707 comments Resistance from one's superiors is the lot of the working man everywhere I think.

I agree, Barry. Their goals are usually more political while the worker bees are just interested in making honey.


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