Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2012! > Deborah's 50 books for 2012

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message 1: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 598 comments I read 107 books in 2011 and I'm ready to get started on 2012.

message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie Spizzirro (spizzirro) | 33 comments I have read 50 books this year. I posted my 5 favorites from 2011, but the truth is i loved most of my books. 1/1/2012 I will post my 1st. 10 for 2012. My new goal is 62 books for 2012.

message 3: by Deborah (last edited Jan 08, 2012 07:17AM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments The first book read in 2012 is...

1. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

The second book in the "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. I didn't think it was quite as good as a "A Game of Thrones". Some of the narratives I found to be a bit boring and some were exciting. My biggest complaint about the series is how I will be enjoying one of the narratives and then it stops and switches to another narrative, featuring a different character. I find that can be jarring sometimes. It's almost like reading a book of short stories. I still enjoyed it enough to continue with the next book though. I want to see what's in store for my favorite characters. 3 1/2 stars.

After thinking about last year's goal of 100 books that I set for myself, I have decided to scale back my goal to 75 this year. I found myself shying away from lengthy books because I was afraid I wouldn't meet my goal. I don't want to worry too much about a book's length this year. I might miss out on reading a great book! So if I meet my goal this year, that's great, if not, that will be okay, too.

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Deborah | 598 comments 2. Sacrifice by T.C. Southwell

In Sacrifice, Queen Minna-Satu's plan for peace with the Cotti is in full effect. I came away from this second book liking Minna much more than in the first one. I actually got a little teary-eyed in regards to her. I felt the opposite about Blade. He was completely obnoxious and whiny. Maybe it was because he did spend most of the time recovering from serious injuries, but still, I think the author went a little overboard with Blade's anger and his "I don't care about anyone" mantra. I did like how the author began the second book with a prologue that highlighted what happened in the first one. For someone like me, who doesn't read serials back to back, it's good to have those highlights. 3 1/2 stars.

message 5: by Deborah (last edited Jan 15, 2012 04:02PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 3. The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner's thrillers are always a hit or miss with me. This one falls about in the middle. Melissa Stokes was abandoned in a Boston hospital with no memory of her past. She is adopted by a wealthy couple who lost their own daughter to a serial killer, Russell Lee Holmes. Years later she and her family are getting notes stating, "you get what you deserve". The book did keep me guessing, but I could have done without Gardner's usual "girl falling in love with the law enforcement agent" junk. It just never seems to be a good fit with a suspense thriller for me. I'm deducting one star from my rating because of it. 3 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 4. Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham

This book got off to a very slow start. Only pure stubborness kept me from giving up on it. It did finally start to get interesting about the halfway point, but unfortunately, not enough for me to read any more of this series. I really just didn't care about any of the characters. 2 1/2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 5. The Closers by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is working in the Open-Unsolved Unit with Kiz after coming out of retirement. They are assigned a case from 1988 that involved the abduction and murder of a 17-year-old girl. I enjoyed the book and it kept me guessing until the end. Haven't read a Connelly book that I didn't like yet. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 6. Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen

A first time author for me. Smoky Barrett is an FBI agent who hunts down serial killers. A madman killed her family and she's left scarred and broken. She's trying to decide if she wants to go back to work or not, then her best friend since high school, is brutally murdered by a killer who calls himself Jack Jr. This was pretty dark and just an okay book for me. One of the characters called everyone honey-love so many times, it became annoying. I have to say that I was surprised by the identity of the culprit at the end. 3 stars.

message 9: by Deborah (last edited Jan 27, 2012 08:49PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 7. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by Lilian Jackson Braun

Being a cat person, I'm amazed I haven't checked out one of The Cat Who...books before now. My local library was selling paperbacks 5 for $1.00, so I picked this one up. I don't mind reading a cozy mystery now and then, but this one just wasn't my cup of tea. 2 stars.

message 10: by Deborah (last edited Feb 01, 2012 07:14PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 8. Promises in Death by J.D. Robb

Eve Dallas investigates the killing of a fellow detective in this one. I thought it was okay, but not quite as enjoyable as some of the others that I have read in this series. 3 stars.

Total books read for January: 8
Favorite: The Closer by Michael Connelly
Least Favorite: The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by Lillian Jackson Braun

message 11: by Deborah (last edited Feb 01, 2012 07:41PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 9. BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

This book got off to a good start and I thought it was going to be a good one. It then proceeded to go downhill fast. Naval Intelligence officer Ryan Evans goes through a horrible ordeal in Iraq and returns home a broken man. All he wants to do is reconcile with is wife, Celine and daughter, Bethany.

There is a serial killer called the BoneMan who has abducted teenage girls, hoping they will make the perfect daughter. When they do not, he kills them by breaking their bones, without breaking their skin. Bethany is kidnapped by the BoneMan and the chase is on.

I did not care for any of the characters, except for maybe Bethany. Ryan is supposed to be the sympathetic one, but I thought he was way over the top and did a lot of dumb things, for supposedly being so smart. Celine is so selfish and doesn't care about Bethany much at all. There is Mark, the crooked, blowhard district attorney and Ricki, the inept FBI agent. The FBI pretty much give up on finding Bethany and when an agent asks Ricki, "who's going to save the world from BoneMan?" Ricki says, "The father, Ryan Evans." I actually groaned after reading that. 2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 10. The Turtle Catcher by Nicole Helget

Liesel is the only daughter of Wilhelm and Magdalena Richter's five children. The story skips around in time and takes place before, during and after WWII. Liesel lives in isolation with her terrible secret on the family's rural Minnesota farm. She develops a friendship with mentally challenged neighbor, Lester Sutter. When he discovers her secret, in fear, Liesel lies to her brothers about what happened and they exact a horrendous revenge against him.

It was a bit slow at times and I really don't care for a book that skips back and forth in time. It just bugs me. Still, the book kept me interested despite that, so I'll give it 3 stars.

On a side note, this is the 10th book I've read this year and I have yet to be wowed by one.

message 13: by Deborah (last edited Feb 07, 2012 07:41PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 11. Malice by Lisa Jackson

I'm not going to bother describing what this book is about, I thought it was terrible. The dialog was incredibly hokey. It seemed like the characters were saying the same things over and over. I don't know how many times someone was called a b*tch. I'm sure a drinking game could be played with that word and everyone would undoubtably be plastered by the end of the book. I don't know why I have this compulsion to finish a book even though I don't like it. 1 star.

message 14: by Deborah (last edited Feb 17, 2012 08:09PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 12. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

I've been a Stephen King fan for a long time, but when I read what this book was about, I didn't think that I would like it, so I decided to take a pass. After reading all the good reviews here within this group, I changed my mind and I'm so glad that I did.

Teacher, Jake Epping has the opportunity to go back in time and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He decides that he should try. He has to spend a few years in the past to accomplish his mission. In the meantime he comes to enjoy his life there and falls in love. I think King is a great storyteller and my only gripe about this book is it's length. A couple of sections went on a little too long. But, other than that, I thought it was a good book. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 13. Twisted by Andrea Kane

This book was given to me, I believe, as a Christmas gift and probably not one I would have chosen myself. This year, I haven't had much luck with first time authors. This one has been the best, so far. I did enjoy the mystery and thought it was well written. 

Sloane, a former FBI agent is hired by a childhood friend's mother, to try and find out what happened to her missing daughter, Penny. Sloane finds herself having to work with her former boyfriend, Derek, whom she had worked with in the past at the FBI. I would have given the book a higher rating, but I deducted 1 star because of the graphic sex scenes. I didn't think they were needed and didn't contribute anything worthwhile to the book. The story held up nicely without them in my opinion. 3 stars.

message 16: by Deborah (last edited Feb 25, 2012 07:41AM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 14. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Another book that was given to me. It's about a philosophical dog, his owner, Denny Swift and family. I don't know, maybe because I'm not a dog person, I just couldn't get into this book, even though I really wanted to like it. There were a few touching moments, but the parts about car racing, and there seemed to be a lot of them, were utterly boring to me. 2 stars.

message 17: by Deborah (last edited Feb 25, 2012 08:12PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 15. The Face of Death by Cody McFadyen

This is the second book in the Smoky Barrett series and I thought it was much better than the first one. Smoky and her team go after a serial killer dubbed, The Stranger, who is seeking revenge for a "miscarriage of justice" and targets 16 year old Sarah Langstrom. The book is dark and gruesome, but surprisingly, I got a bit misty-eyed as well. Some parts were very moving. I was happy to find the author did not have Callie uttering "honey love" every time she spoke. I found that so irritating in the first book. I stayed up late to finish it, knowing I had to work the next day. I couldn't help myself. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 16. Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz

This was awful. I used to love reading a Koontz book. Not anymore. The last few that I have read have not been so great, with this one being the worst. Ryan Perry has an incurable heart ailment and is put on the transplant list. This story seemed to meander around and did not make much sense to me at times. 1 star.

Unfortunately, as much as it pains me, I have to say goodbye to Mr. Koontz.

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Deborah | 598 comments 17. Breeding Ground by Sarah Pinborough

Matt and his girlfriend, Chloe are having a baby and things go horribly wrong. I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy, scary and icky. Everything a good horror story should be. I definitely will be reading the sequel. 4 stars.

Books read in February: 9
Favorite: 11/23/63-Stephen King
Least Favorite: Malice-Lisa Jackson

message 20: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 18. Wit'ch Star by James Clemens

This was the last book in The Banned and the Banished series. I absolutely loved it. Heroes and heroines; nasty villains; epic battles; betrayals and redemption. This is a series that I will definitely revisit again. 5 stars.

message 21: by Deborah (last edited Mar 11, 2012 05:57AM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 19. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

In 1925, British explorer Percy Fawcett made his last expedition into the Amazon and was determined to locate an ancient civilization he was convinced had existed, which he nicknamed, the City of Z. He never returned. This was a fascinating and true adventure story. I give it 4 stars.

message 22: by Deborah (last edited Mar 11, 2012 05:58AM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 20. Borderline by Nevada Barr

Anna is on administrative leave from the NPS. She and her husband decide to take a vacation, a guided rafting trip down the Rio Grande in Texas' Big Bend National Park. Things are going well until they find the body of a pregnant woman in the water. It didn't take me long to figure out who the baddie was in this one, but that was okay. I always enjoy reading an Anna Pigeon mystery. 3 1/2 stars.

message 23: by Deborah (last edited Mar 18, 2012 08:35PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 21. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A young girl is abandoned on a ship headed to Australia in 1913. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife. When she turns twenty-one, her father tells her the truth. Nell tries to find out her true identity, but it is her granddaughter Cassandra, that eventually is able to finally find out who Nell truly is. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It does skip around in time, something I usually don't like much, but it works for this story. I highly recommend it. 5 stars.

message 24: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 22. Life's That Way: A Memoir by Jim Beaver

A touching account of actor Jim Beaver's wife and her battle with cancer. 5 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 23. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

A post WWII gothic tale about a haunted house. The story kept me interested and I liked it well enough, but I didn't love it. Again, I wish goodreads would allow half stars. For the official rating, I gave the book 3 stars. I thought it deserved a bit more than that, but it wasn't a 4 star book either. So here, I will give it 3 1/2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 24. The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick

A really good fantasy book. The bulk of the story takes place on the Arqual Empire's 600-year-old massive ship, Chathrand, whose mission is to deliver a young woman to the Mizithrin Empire to be married, so there can be peace between them. Not everything is as it seems though. This was a real page turner. I almost felt like I was on the ship with the characters. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. 4 stars.

message 27: by Deborah (last edited Apr 01, 2012 05:25AM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 25. The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

Deputy Sheriff Nate Stanley tells his wife Irene, out of the blue, that he has accepted a job in Oregon. She doesn't want to uproot herself and their two children, Shep and Bliss, from their idyllic Illinois town. Nate assures her that it will be for the best, so she reluctantly agrees to the move. After they have become settled in their new life, 15-year-old Shep is killed in a robbery attempt.

This started off a bit slow and I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but then it really took off and I became engrossed in the story of how differently each family member was able to deal with their grief. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 26. Rain Gods by James Lee Burke

In a southwest border town, Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland (love that name) finds the bodies of nine illegal aliens which were women and girls, killed execution style and buried in a shallow grave.

There are some interesting characters, especially killer Jack Collins, also known as The Preacher, and he definitely has some bats loose in his belfry. This was a well written book and I loved that I was familiar with some of the locations described in it, like San Antonio and the Hill Country area. My only complaint, I thought the story dragged out a bit too long. 4 stars.

message 29: by Deborah (last edited Mar 31, 2012 01:15PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 27. Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner

This is a true account of Leslie's marriage to an abusive man. She was an editor at Seventeen magazine and living in New York when she met Conor whom she found charming and handsome. A compelling story which I read in one day. 4 stars.

Books read in March: 10
Favorite: The Forgotten Garden-Kate Morton
Least Favorite: The Little Stranger-Sarah Waters

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Deborah | 598 comments 28. Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver

Kathryn Dance of the California Bureau of Investigation is on the hunt for a killer who leaves roadside markers before there is a victim. There were some twists and turns that took me completely by surprise. A good read. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 29. Depraved by Bryan Smith

I would describe this book as a cross between Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre wrapped up in some porn. I have read plenty of horror and sadistic serial killer books and I am not squeamish, but this book lives up to it's title. What utterly ruined the book for me were the vast amount of rape scenes: man raping woman; woman raping man; man raping man; woman raping woman. Ugh!

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Deborah | 598 comments 30. Invisible Assassin by T.C. Southwell

The third book in the Queen's Blade series. I liked this one better than the second one. Blade is still ornery as ever though. I do love the author's descriptions of Blade's dancing. I could almost hear his boots clicking. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 31. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

MacKayla Lane's life is turned upside down when her sister is murdered. When the police are not able to find the killer, Mac travels to Ireland to try and find out what happened to her.

I'm not usually big on YA books, but this one seemed interesting. When I started reading it, I didn't think I was going to like it, but when I decided to accept it as campy fun, the book drew me in and I enjoyed it. 4 stars.

message 34: by Deborah (last edited Apr 21, 2012 07:58PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 32. The Goddess of Fried Okra by Jean Brashear

This was a freebie I've had on my kindle for a while. Eudora "Pea" O'Brien is a six foot tall redhead and is grieving the loss of her sister, who raised her when their mother died. Pea believes that her sister's soul will be reincarnated.

She decides to pack her belongings and travel the backroads of Texas looking for signs of her sister's reincarnation. Along the way she picks up some strays: a kitten, a pregnant teenager and a con man. 3 stars.

message 35: by Deborah (last edited Apr 21, 2012 01:37PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 33. Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible by Cybill Shepherd

I probably would never have read this if it hadn't been offered for free on kindle. Cybill spends a good deal of the book describing her childhood, which I thought went on for a bit too long. This was pretty much the usual celebrity tell all, minus the drug and/or alcohol addiction. Shocking! 2 1/2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 34. Triple Exposure by Colleen Thompson

Another freebie that was on my kindle forever. I probably downloaded it because it takes place in Texas.

Rachel Copeland returns home to Marfa, Texas after she has been aquitted of murdering a young man who was stalking her. She meets loner Zeke Pike, who has a secret of his own. Of course, they are soon fighting romantic feelings for one another and that always annoys me to no end.

Rachel starts receiving threatning calls and Zeke is shot at. It appears someone wants both of them dead. There's some red herrings thrown in, but the ending felt like a let down to me. 2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 35. Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

Jenny Lucas returns to her small hometown in North Carolina with her five-year-old daughter, Isabella. She swore she would never return, but she is dying of cancer and wants to find caregivers for her daughter. Her choices are her cold-hearted father and David, Isabella's father, who doesn't even know he has a child. The book was okay and it had its moments, but the juvenile behavior of most of the characters eventually grated on my nerves. Tissues would be a good thing to have on hand while reading this one. 3 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 36. House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo

Downloaded as a freebie onto my kindle. I didn't realize it was a children's book (13 & up) until I started reading it. I decided to continue with it anyway. It kind of reminded me of the Goosebumps books my son used to like to read.

Teenager, Xander and family move into a old Victorian home and weird stuff starts happening. There was a nice twist at the end and the story continues in the next book of the series which I won't read, but I believe the target audience for this book would enjoy it. 2 stars from me.

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Deborah | 598 comments 37. In the Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde

A group of strangers go on a river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. JT Maroney is the lead guide, he loves the river, and this is his 125th trip. A stray dog ends up tagging along, which causes some disdain for a couple of the characters. During the thirteen day trip, everyone's lives are changed. I thought the book was okay. I felt like the author left some things hanging and unresolved. I guess I have to leave it up to my imagination. 3 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 38. Bone By Bone by Carol O'Connell

Oren Hobbs returns to his hometown after his father starts receiving bones that he is sure belong to Oren's younger brother, who disappeared over twenty years ago.

Another just okay book for me. There were too many red herrings and parts of the book were confusing. 2 1/2 stars.

I read too many clunkers in April. Hopefully May will be a better month.

Books read in April: 11
Favorite: The Invisible Assassin by T.C. Southwell
Least Favorite: Depraved by Bryan Smith

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Deborah | 598 comments 39. Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

Author, Gwen Cooper adopts a blind kitten that no one else wanted. She already had two cats and was a little reluctant to take on a third. This is definitely a book for cat lovers. It was a heartwarming story and Homer is an absolutely amazing cat. I just fell in love with him. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 40. Bad Things by Michael Marshall Smith

At the start of the book, John Henderson's 4-year-old son dies after falling in a lake near the family's home for no apparent reason. John and his wife, Carol, divorce and move away. Four years later a woman calls John and leaves a message stating she knows what happened to his son.

This book started off good and I thought it was going to be a fast-paced supernatural thriller, but it quickly went downhill. There were a couple of subplots that I didn't care for and the main character did some dumb things that had me rolling my eyes. I was disappointed in this one. 2 1/2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 41. Doug Welsh's Texas Garden Almanac by Doug Welsh

I saw this book in my local library and checked it out on a whim. I thought it was very informative. I learned some things that I wasn't aware of and now know why I haven't had much luck with gardening. I'm going to purchase the book, so I will have it handy when I give gardening another and hopefully successful try.

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Deborah | 598 comments 42. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

This is the usual humorous Stephanie Plum caper. Maybe not quite as enjoyable as others in the series that I have read, but still a decent read. 3 1/2 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 43. The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

This is a creepy, gothic novel about 12-year-old Ren, a one-handed boy raised in a Catholic orphanage and longing for a family of his own. He is adopted by Benjamin Nab, who claims to be his long lost brother. Benjamin introduces him to a world of scam artists, grave robbers and a murderer. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author. 4 stars.

message 46: by Deborah (last edited May 27, 2012 08:33PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 44. Impact by Douglas Preston

A meteor falls to earth off the coast of Maine and college dropout Abbey Straw talks her friend into searching the small islands to find it, so she can sell it on eBay. Meanwhile former CIA operative, Wyman Ford is sent to Cambodia to locate a secret mine which is the source of some deadly gemstones. Back in California, a Mars mission tech, Mark Corso, is sent classified information by a former coworker, showing gamma rays emanating from Mars. All of these plot lines do eventually converge and that's when things start heating up. I thought this was a tense thriller and enjoyed the book. 4 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 45. Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel

Kendall O'Dell, a big city girl, moves to a small town in Arizona for health reasons and gets a job with a small newspaper. Her first assignment is looking into the disappearance of the reporter that she has replaced. At first, she is a fish out of water, but comes to appreciate her adopted state. During the investigation, she becomes attracted to two very different men. Thankfully, the author did not let this get into bodice ripping territory. I thought it was a decent mystery and give it 3 stars.

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Deborah | 598 comments 46. The Man with the Blue Hat by Wendy Potocki

There were many grammatical and punctuation errors throughout this book. Did the author have an editor?!? It was terrible. The story was actually interesting, maybe drawn out a little too long, but parts of it were really creepy. The main character, Beth, is accused by the town drunk of bringing something evil into there small town. Everyone starts suffering from insomnia and paranoia. I was surprised by the ending, but because of all of the errors, I'm giving it 2 stars.

message 49: by Deborah (last edited Jun 08, 2012 06:43PM) (new)

Deborah | 598 comments 47. Fractured by Karin Slaughter

This is the second book that features dyslexic, Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and introduces new character Det. Faith Mitchell of the Atlanta PD.

Abigail Campano comes home to find her teenage daughter murdered and a man standing over her with a knife. She becomes enraged and kills the intruder with her bare hands. Will soon determines that the scene is not what it appears to be. I thought this was a really good mystery with some great plot twists. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I stayed up much too late so I could finish it. This is the best book I have read by Slaughter yet. 5 stars.

Books read in May: 9
Favorite: Fractured by Karin Slaughter
Least Favorite: The Man With The Blue Hat by Wendy Potocki

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Deborah | 598 comments 48. Fragment by Warren Fahy

A cast of young scientists aboard the sea vessel, Trident, are being filmed for the reality show called Sealife. A distress signal is detected near the small, Henders Island. What the scientists find there is mind boggling, creatures that have never been seen before. They are then in a fight for survival. I thought this book had great potential but, for me, it is was too much science and not enough action/adventure. 3 stars.

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