Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shiny Water

Shiny Water by Anna Salter

Dr. Michael Stone is a forensic psychologist who champions the victims of crimes. In this case she has become involved in a custody battle. When Michael delivers her testimony which accuses a prominent, well-liked surgeon with child abuse, the community is shocked. The judge ignores her accusations and gives full custody to the father charging the mother with leading her children to a wrongful accusation. The very next day the children are murdered and none other than the mother is jailed.

Could Michael have been that wrong about the mother? Desperate to figure out who the murderer is Michael goes to jailed sadistic Alex B. Wily to gain some insight into how a criminal's mind works. Michael seems to get drawn in by Wily. The killer is someone she must know.

This is the start of a great series. Michael is a person whom the reader is drawn to and quite likeable. Will look for the next in the series.

First Line: "I don't think most people's reaction to finding a dead body on a dock would be to call their kid to come look at it."



Giveaway - Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I have been extremely lucky in receiving from Random House Canada not one but two copies of Bitten by Kelley Armstrong to give away.

Amazon Editorial Review:

An erotically charged, addictive thriller from the future queen of suspense.

Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds, and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.

But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her "family," she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she's increasingly uncertain if it's the right one.

An erotically charged thriller, Bitten will awaken the voracious appetite of every reader, as the age-old battle between man and beast, between human and inhuman forces, comes to a head in one small town and within one woman's body.

It is a very good paranormal book and start of the Women of the OtherWorld series

Sooooo , if you would like a copy of this book, please leave a comment with a way of reaching you. Deadline : Mar 20. Good Luck

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

All her life, Helen's life has been affected by her mom. Helen always knew her mom was different from others, but only when her mom watched a boy die on their street after being hit by a car without rushing to help did Helen realize why. Her mom has an undiagnosed mental illness. This illness caused her mom to stay inside for years at a time, causing Helen to grow up much faster than she should have and putting tremendous stress on her father.

The book starts with Helen killing her mother and what happens in the next 24 hours as she remembers her relationship with her mom, kids, ex-husband, best friend, and neighbours. For an author that has written characters that are extremely easy to connect with, that certainly wasn't the case with The Almost Moon. I didn't even understand where the characters were coming from until half way through the book, let alone EVER connect with them. Parts of the book are cringe-worthy in how unhealthy some of the relationships were.

To be honest, I can't say I fully understood this book. Perhaps the characters were too deep and the relationship too intense for me. I can understand why some people may like this book, but it just wasn't to my tastes.

First Line: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."



Sunday, February 14, 2010

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

Detective Harry Bosch is called out to a wooded area when a local's dog finds a bone that looks like a children's bone. Bosch finds the shallow grave and it is determined that the bones are from a male child and have been in the ground for at least twenty years. Bosch and his partner Edgar next try to find the id of the kid. They also interview people from the neighbourhood and their suspicion falls on a man that was convicted of child abuse many years ago.

Despite having a partner to work with, Bosch tries to move the investigation forward by himself. As always, Bosch makes waves with his equals and superiors. Has he pushed them too far this time? Could they force him into retirement?

As always, the books in the Bosch series do not disappoint. The mystery flows along quite smoothly while you get a great idea of who Bosch is and another peek into his personal life. This time he falls for a rookie cop, which is against regulations. I liked the small details that showed Bosch's character, including how he would place his hand on the box that held the child's bone when he was in the car so that it wouldn't slide around. Another great Bosch mystery!

First Line: "The old lady had changed her mind about dying but by then it was too late."



Tuesday, February 09, 2010

McNally's Alibi

McNally's Alibi by Lawrence Sanders

Archy McNally is hired to be the go-between for the wealthy collector Fortesque and the seller of Truman Capote's original manuscript of Answered Prayers. The problem is Archy is conked on the head and loses both the manuscript and the money and furthermore a man is found dead in the room where he had just concluded the deal.

Enter Georgia O'Hara, the beautiful cop in charge of the murder investigation. Archy has no trouble in securing a date, of course only to discuss the case. At the same time he hopes to make Connie his long-time girlfriend jealous. Connie has been dating a dashing Cuban and seems to be losing interest in Archy.

At the same time the abandoned Beaumont house has been seen to have lights flickering in the windows. Ty Beaumont wants Archy to see if it is really his dead twin's ghost.

The McNally stories are always over the top but I think this time it is a bit much. Archy dates the cop who is investigating him as a suspect. Come-on! Also the stories seem to be very convoluted. The Beaumont case seems to just a bit of added fluff in case the main story was not enough. Archy this time appears to be a bit desperate instead of being the cad he is

First Line: "My potential client was a Ms. Claudia Lester."



A Darker Domain

A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie deals with cold cases.

Twenty-four years ago, a wealthy reclusive Scottish business man, Brodie Grant, lost his daughter in a botched kidnapping and never did find his grandson. Bel Richmond, an investigative reporter finds evidence of the kidnapping while on holiday in Tuscany. Bel goes directly to Grant who grants her access to himself and directs her investigations. Although Pirie is called in on the case, Grant only gives her minimal information and even orders Richmond not to give the police further help.

Misha Gibson walks into the police station to report her father missing. Only it happened over twenty years ago. She needs to find him in order to save her son medically. Pirie starts investigating to find out Misha's father is not where everyone thought and has vanished. Coincidentally at the same time as one of his friends also vanished and was thought to have committed suicide.

Pirie is a wonderful character. She seems to handle her boss quite adroitly and continues to investigate the cases in spite of his hindrance. McDermid is wonderful at turning seeming ordinary people like Pirie into great characters. I certainly hope her story continues.

First Line: "The voice is soft, like the darkness that encloses them."



Sunday, February 07, 2010

Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen

Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen

Erin dances at a strip club to pay her lawyer bills. She's in the middle of a custody battle with her ex for her daughter. Making friends with the other dancers and the bouncer makes Erin's job slightly more enjoyable, until a US congressman comes in for a dance and begins beating a bachelor over the head with a champagne bottle.

Recognizing the congressman to be David Dilbreck, three people try to blackmail him in exchange for their silence. All turn up dead. Dilbreck is oblivious to these problems though, as he has fallen in love with Erin and wants her to dance for him. A bunch of different characters are involved in the fiasco, each bringing their own crazy problems to the novel.

This was a fun book to read and I'm surprised it's taken me this long to read a Hiaasen book. The quirky characters made me chuckle and wonder how they got themselves into the situation and how they were going to get out of it. For all of the character build up, however, I felt let down by the ending. While everything was resolved, I felt like it wasn't what the characters deserved.

First Line: "On the night of September sixth, the eve of Paul Guber's wedding, his buddies took him to a strip joint near Fort Lauderdale for a bachelor party."



Monday, February 01, 2010

Beautiful Child

Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden

This a book about one school year in Torey Hayden's life. Torey is a special education teacher. This year she has twins suffering from Fetal Alcohol syndrome, a boy with Tourette's, a boy with an explosive temper and Venus Fox, an elective mute.

Although the book is about all the children including a few who are sent for only a few hours each day, the book concentrates on Venus. Venus is a mute who does not respond, does not listen or even seem to acknowledge other people.
Venus however does respond when accidently bumped into murderous rages.

Torey tries everything in the book to get the little girl to respond to no avail. Patiently and persistently she keeps on trying until she gets the slightest of nods. Venus does not come to school on a consistent basis and it seems for every step forward there are two back. Torey goes above and beyond to reach this child and bring her back from her silent world

First Line: "The first time I saw her, she was atop a stone wall that ran along the west side of the playground."