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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

I am a true James Patterson fan and had been holding on to Alex Cross’s Trial as I knew that it was not an “Alex Cross” novel but a novel written by the fictional Alex Cross.  Alex Cross makes an appearance in the beginning and only for a foreword. I am not much into historical books, but this one has me riveted. President Theodore Roosevelt makes an appearance along with Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known as Mark Twain.

Racism in the deep south in the early 1900’s is the setting and drive for the plot. Gruesome lynchings and rampant murder are dotted throughout. I am now close to the end at the Trial part and I just know that the ending will not disappoint. The only sadness is that my book may not survive until the end, it is a book that I received through freecycle and it was abused by its previous owner….perhaps they didn’t like the ending and took it out on the book. I give it two thumbs up and will be passing the book along to another grateful reader. Now if I could find another author that wrote like Patterson I would be more prone to get into the historical books….there is hope for me and this genre yet.

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I’ve read most of these books this summer, some I read a while back, but I am working on creating a log of all the books I’ve read. I’ve enjoyed most of these books, and look forward to a complete update.

1 BAILEY, SETH ANDERSON AND THE RAIN CAME DOWN
2 BALDACCI, DAVID THE COLLECTORS
3 BALDACCI, DAVID TRUE BLUE
4 BALDACCI, DAVID WISH YOU WELL
5 BROWN, SANDRA UNSPEAKABLE
6 BROWN, SANDRA HELLO DARKNESS
7 BROWN, SANDRA STAND OFF
8 BROWN, SANDRA THE ALIBI
9 BROWN, SANDRA SMOKE SCREEN
10 BROWN, SANDRA SMASH CUT
11 BRUNDAGE, ELIZABETH THE DOCTOR’S WIFE
12 CALLOW, PAM INDEFENSABLE
13 CLARK, MARY HIGGINS THE LOTTERY
14 CLARK, MARY HIGGINS NO PLACE LIKE HOME
15 CLARK, MARY HIGGINS BEFORE I SAY GOODBYE
16 CLARK, MARY HIGGINS ALL AROUND THE TOWN
17 CORNWELL, PATRICIA AT RISK
18 CORNWELL, PATRICIA THE FRONT
19 CORNWELL, PATRICIA POSTMORTEM
20 CORNWELL, PATRICIA BODY OF EVIDENCE
21 CORNWELL, PATRICIA ALL THAT REMAINS
22 CORNWELL, PATRICIA CRUEL AND UNUSUAL
23 CORNWELL, PATRICIA THE BODY FARM
24 CORNWELL, PATRICIA FROM POTTER’S FIELD
25 CORNWELL, PATRICIA CAUSE OF DEATH
26 CORNWELL, PATRICIA UNNATURAL EXPOSURE
27 CORNWELL, PATRICIA POINT OF ORIGIN
28 CORNWELL, PATRICIA BLACK NOTICE
29 CORNWELL, PATRICIA THE LAST PRECINCT
30 CORNWELL, PATRICIA BLOW FLY
31 CORNWELL, PATRICIA TRACE
32 CORNWELL, PATRICIA PREDATOR
33 CORNWELL, PATRICIA BOOK OF THE DEAD
34 CORNWELL, PATRICIA SCARPETTA
35 CORNWELL, PATRICIA THE SCARPETTA FACTOR
36 CRANDALL, SUSAN PITCH BLACK
37 CRANDALL, SUSAN SEEING RED
52 FOSTER, LORI SIMON SAYS
53 GERRITSON, TESS THE SURGEON
54 GERRITSON, TESS THE SINNER
55 GERRITSON, TESS THE APPRENTICE
56 GRAHAM, HEATHER DEADLY NIGHT
57 GRAHAM, HEATHER DEADLY HARVEST
58 GRAHAM, HEATHER DEADLY GIFT
59 HANNAH, KRISTIN IF YOU BELIEVE
60 HANNAH, KRISTIN ON MYSTIC LAKE
61 HANNAH, KRISTIN TRUE COLORS
62 HANNAH, KRISTIN SUMMER ISLAND
63 HANNAH, KRISTIN WINTER GARDEN
64 HOAG, TAMI ASHES TO ASHES
65 HOAG, TAMI DUST TO DUST
66 HOAG, TAMI THE MESSENGER
67 JOHANSEN, IRIS THE KILLING GAME
68 KELLERMAN, FAYE STALKER
69 KELLERMAN, JONATHAN OBSESSION
70 KELLERMAN, JONATHAN TWISTED
71 NOVAK, BRENDA BODY HEAT
72 NOVAK, BRENDA KILLER HEAT
73 NOVAK, BRENDA WHITE HEAT
74 NOVAK, BRENDA DEAD SILENCE
75 NOVAK, BRENDA DEAD RIGHT
76 NOVAK, BRENDA DEAD GIVEAWAY
77 NOVAK, BRENDA WATCH ME
78 NOVAK, BRENDA STOP ME
79 NOVAK, BRENDA TRUST ME
80 NOVAK, BRENDA THE PERFECT MURDER
81 NOVAK, BRENDA THE PERFECT LIAR
82 NOVAK, BRENDA THE PERFECT COUPLE
38 PATTERSON, JAMES CROSS
39 PATTERSON, JAMES THE 9TH JUDGEMENT
40 PATTERSON, JAMES THE 6TH TARGET
41 PATTERSON, JAMES ALONG CAME A SPIDER
42 PATTERSON, JAMES KISS THE GIRLS
43 PATTERSON, JAMES JACK AND JILL
44 PATTERSON, JAMES CAT AND MOUSE
45 PATTERSON, JAMES POP GOES THE WEASEL
46 PATTERSON, JAMES ROSES ARE RED
47 PATTERSON, JAMES VIOLETS ARE BLUE
48 PATTERSON, JAMES FOUR BLIND MICE
49 PATTERSON, JAMES THE BIG BAD WOLF
50 PATTERSON, JAMES LONDON BRIDGES
51 PATTERSON, JAMES MARY, MARY
83 PATTERSON, RICHARD NORTH THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
84 ROBERTS, NORA BLUE DAHLIA
85 ROBERTS, NORA BLACK ROSE
86 ROBERTS, NORA RED LILY
87 RODRIGUEZ, ALISA VALDEZ PLAYING WITH BOYS
88 RULE, ANN TOO LATE TO SAY GOODBYE
89 SANDERS, LAWRENCE THE THIRD DEADLY SIN
90 SAUL, JOHN NIGHTSHADE
91 SCOTTOLINE, LISA LOOK AGAIN
92 SLAUGHTER, KARIN UINDELIBLE
93 SLAUGHTER, KARIN FAITHLESS
94 SLAUGHTER, KARIN TRIPTYCHE
95 SLAUGHTER, KARIN A FAINT COLD FEAR
96 SLAUGHTER, KARIN KISSCUT
97 SPARKS, NICHOLAS THE LAST SONG
98 SPARKS, NICHOLAS THE LUCKY ONE
99 SPARKS, NICHOLAS THE NOTEBOOK
100 SPINDLER, ERICA CAUSE FOR ALARM
101 SPINDLER, ERICA BREAK NECK
102 SPINDLER, ERICA ALL FALL DOWN
103 ST CLAIRE, ROXANNE FIRST YOU RUN
104 ST CLAIRE, ROXANNE NOW YOU DIE
105 ST CLAIRE, ROXANNE THEN YOU HIDE
106 ST CLAIRE, ROXANNE TAKE ME TONIGHT
107 ST CLAIRE, ROXANNE HUNT HER DOWN
108 VINE, BARBARA THE CHIMNEY SWEEPERS BOY
109 WILSON, GRETCHEN REDNECK WOMAN
110 WINSTON, LOLLY GOOD GRIEF
111 WOODS, SHERRYL FEELS LIKE FAMILY

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I’ve reached the conclusion of The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy and thoroughly enjoyed the story, it isn’t for everybody so I won’t recommend it. But if I ever come across another book by this author I will read it. Oh yeah the author is Barbara Vine also known as Ruth Rendell. There are some metaphor’s throughout and deciphering those goes a long way in solving the mystery of the fictional author….anywho…here are some additional quotes~

When you think someone is listening to you he is probably only considering what to say next.

It is very hard to come to terms with the fact of someone simply not liking you.

The greatest fallacy is that good looks are an essential ingredient of sexual attraction.

There’s no knowing why we remember some things and forget others.

Those who marry to escape something usually find themselves in something worse.

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Last night I watched the movieBlood Done Sign My Name“, the movie is based on a book of the same title written by Timothy Tyson. I learned of the book from my friend Laurie Zieber and when I looked it up I saw that there was a movie out so I went the quick route and got the movie instead of trying to wait around for a copy to become available via freecycle.

The movie/book recounts a shameful time in the US when racism led to many injustices. My very recent encounter with racism pales in comparison to what many have endured in the past. I didn’t want to think of it as a racist action on the part of the offending individual but upon closer reflection his actions spoke louder than words as to his regard for people of a different race. Sad that in this day and age this still exists. I was able to walk away from the incident without it having escalated to me lowering myself to his level.

I highly recommend the movie and if I ever run across the book I will scoop it up…if I ever make it to the library I will look for it there.

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Feels Like Family

Book three of the Sweet Magnolia’s Trilogy

I have not read book one or two, but did enjoy a break from my usual blood and guts gorefest.

Feels like family introduced me to Helen, a high-powered divorce attorney who at 42 hears her biological clock ticking. She takes in a couple of kids for a short while and that solidifies her decision that she is ready to become a mother. At her age, there isn’t much time to wait around and try to do things in their natural order….like find a man, marry him and do it the way she had dreamed. So she schemes and gets her wish….but what she didn’t plan on was life getting in the way….actually love got in the way….

A quick read…a little contrived…a feeling of deja vu as I read it…but overall an okay read.

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Alex Delaware does not appear in this novel; he is only mentioned briefly due to the fact that he has worked with one of the detectives previously.

There are some truly horrific murders described in gruesome and prolonged detail in this story…which makes me quite happy.

This is a police procedural that has it all: murderers to apprehend, character relationships to explore, and the tension of a race against time.

Hollywood homicide detective Petra Conner hopes to take it easy after just solving two murders; however, she is awakened by a 1:15 AM call that four teenagers have just been gunned down in the parking lot of the Paradiso Club on Sunset Boulevard. Disappointingly, the eighteen “know-nothing” witnesses provide minimal information, no leads and no motive. In fact, the mystery is compounded by the fact that one of the young victims has no identification. Thus, the department quickly reduces the manpower assigned to the case and it appears that it may end up in the cold case file.

While Petra doggedly continues to search for leads in that case, she is approached by Isaac Gomez, a twenty-one year old genius who is writing his Ph.D. thesis in epidemiology and biostatistics. While Isaac researches his topic, which involves patterns of LA homicides, he is working as a LAPD intern assigned to Petra by a captain who dislikes her intensely. Isaac’s statistical analysis has uncovered a seeming repetitive pattern linking several unsolved murders which previously seemed totally random and unrelated. Worse yet, if Isaac’s seemingly bizarre analysis is correct, the serial killer will violently kill another victim in a few short weeks. After some initial skepticism, Petra decides she needs to privately investigate Isaac’s thesis even as she hopes that he is wrong.

Juxtaposed against these investigations but extremely central to the plot are the frustrations of Petra’s and Isaac’s private lives. Due to his Special Forces military background, Eric Stahl, Petra’s former partner and current lover, has been sent on a secret mission abroad as part of the new Homeland Security Squad. Meanwhile, Isaac has to handle the dichotomy between his evenings with his poor family in the marginal neighborhood in which they live and the elite world to which his intellect has gained him access.

This plot definitely has more than enough misdirection and action to keep it interesting. Meanwhile, the tight timeline adds considerable suspense as the countdown toward the apparent date of the next murder rapidly proceeds.  I especially liked Isaac, a precocious young man whose intellectual development had far outpaced his social skills, a fact which leads to many anxious moments and difficult situations.

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If you like fast paced police thrillers, you will enjoy this book. Told from different character perspectives, you are drawn into each character and will find it hard to put down.

Jace a 19-year-old bike messenger becomes entangled in a murder and blackmail scheme. Distrustful of the police he runs, taking with him the package he was to deliver. Soon he finds himself way in over his head, running for his life and putting his life and those around him in danger.

At one point when the narrative of another character took off I almost was afraid the author would forget Jace, the ending did not disappoint.

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