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Reviews 2008 > October2008 Reviews

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message 1: by Corona (last edited Oct 19, 2008 07:45PM) (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
Capitol Offense - Mike Doogan
Andrea - Okay - I was very excited about our prescience in picking a book about Alaska politics before we’d ever heard of Sarah Pallin. And it started well, with a somewhat different kind of disgruntled and discouraged ex-cop (who actually did jail time). But it quickly deteriorated and I ended up disappointed. The unraveling of the plot was stupid, with lengthy confessions instead of detecting; the only thing we learned about Alaska politics was there’s a lot of sex; and the characters’ motivations and actions seemed unreal. The book is nothing like the description (which says the protagonist “uncovers a political culture corrupted by the influence of oil and big money—and a terrifying secret that could further destroy him.” And I really found the violent death at the very end (which I won’t reveal for those who haven’t finished the book) to be annoyingly sad and awfully gratuitous.
Charlotte - G+ - Liked it. She loved the chapter heading and didn't find too many dumb coincidences. She did not like the ending and thought the book would have been better without it.
Corona - VG - Great story, terrible ending. Nik’s living situation is a little depressing, seems he could do more to cheer up his life. I’m surprised to know that this is an ongoing character, maybe I’ll get it with the next installment.
LJ - Okay - Although written in 2007 this is a very timely book with it’s subject of politics in Alaska, and it doesn’t paint a very favorable picture. For me, one of the most delightful things is chapter heading quotation by a political leader or journalist. The story starts off well, starts to crumble and falls apart at the end. It was predictable. My other issue was that, other than the protagonist, I didn’t really care for any of the characters. I have to have at least either plot or characters about which to care. Here, I had neither. This was very disappointing.

The Bone Garden (Myst-Julia Hammill/Norris Marshall-Massachusetts-Cont/1830) - Standalone - Tess Gerritsen
Andrea - Good - But definitely not great. I now am sure I’m not a fan of Tess Gerritsen. I read one other in the group (the first one), which like this one, has too much medical stuff and blood and gore for my taste. This one had more interest with the back and forth in time, and with the historical interest, but I found a lot of the switching back and forth somewhat disconcerting, and it seemed that with all the switching, we either got repetition or big gaps (like what was really said in all of the letters discovered in the present). I thought the past or present characters were cardboard cutouts, and I figured out the identity of the murder victim readily (though not who did it or why).
Charlotte - G+/VG - She started it at 2 p.m. today and is already 200 pages into it. She is enjoying it except she finds the graphic detail a bit too much. It took a bit of getting used to the two time periods.
Corona - Ex - I loved, loved, loved this book! And there was the bonus of having two riveting stories in one! I enjoyed both sets of characters, I enjoyed the direction of the book. And I was glad that I had from the beginning reassurance that a family would survive. But I was very disappointed that Rose didn’t.
LJ - G+ - Something different from Ms. Gerritsen. This is not her normal medical thriller, but a fascinating, and rather horrible, look at medicine and law in pre-Civil War America. It is a mystery, violent at times, which includes some gruesome descriptions and resurrectionists, which seems to be a common theme at the moment. It is also a very touching love story and looks at the lives of poor women during the time. The ending was weak and the present-day story definitely takes the back seat to the past, but the two time periods did work for me and I was captivated by the story. This was a one-sitting read for me. I love Gerritsen’s writing and give her kudos for branching out to do something different.

The Night Ferry (Pol. Proc-Ali Barba - England-Cont) - Standalone - Michael Robotham
Andrea - VG - The best of the three. I found the characters and story pretty interesting (although I sometimes felt like the male Brit or maybe Dutch author was not really the best person to write about the motivations and inner thoughts of a young Sikh woman detective). I did wonder how or why he chose such a protagonist. The story kept me engrossed (even when I was ahead of the characters in figuring out what was going on), and I thought the writing was good.
Charlotte - - She has started it but is finding it heavy and hard to read. Fells a bit long. It has a realistic and depressing view of the world.
Corona - Ex - I really enjoyed this book too. I liked getting to know the characters, but I thought there were unnecessary wrong impressions given to keep the story afloat (the high school bully) which detracted from the credibility of the author.
LJ - Ex - There are so many layers to this book. Ali is a woman police officer dealing with all the prejudices that women face working in a testosterone environment. Ali is a Sikh so she has that prejudice to deal with, as well as a very traditional mother always trying to arrange a marriage for her. Robotham has done a masterful job of creating this character and giving her a voice. She has a past, a sense of humor and a drive to uncover the truth and find justice that make her a strong, interesting and, occasionally, a reckless character. There were times I wanted to yell at her for being stupid and was amazed at her ability to take a severe beating and keep going. It is a painful book to read, at times. We may complain about immigration problems in our country—we have nothing about which to complain—and the issue of orphaned children and the treatment of women in other parts of the world is something about which most of us are exceedingly naive. However, those elements never overwhelmed the story. The suspense grew as the story progressed and I found myself staying up way to late because I wasn’t going to bed without finishing it. I haven’t read Robotham’s previous books but I’m sure going to look for them as well as new books up and coming.



message 2: by Corona (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
October's meeting was rescheduled so we could watch The Debate. - We will meet same time, same place on Tuesday the 14th.


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