Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is asked by her mom's neighbour to look in to her daughter Evelyn's disappearance. Evelyn put up her mom's house for her custody bond and when she's goes missing, the house is in danger of being taken. As Stephanie starts investigating, she runs in to Ambruzzi, a not-too-nice guy who threatens her to stay clear of Evelyn. Ambruzzi starts making Stephanie a game, leaving her snakes and spiders, going in to her home when she's not there. Stephanie needs to find Evelyn to figure out why Ambruzzi is after her.

I really wish Stephanie and Morelli would just get back together. Things just seem more 'right' when the two of those are together. As usual, this book has its laugh out loud moments. The banter between Lula and Stephanie was great during this book. Not much happened from Grandma Mazur this time round but I'm sure there will be more next time, which I'm looking forwards to reading!

First Line: "Lately, I've been spending a lot of time rolling on the ground with men who think a stiffy represents personal growth."


Visions in Death

Visions in Death by J. D. Robb
Elisa Maplewood had been brutally attacked, raped, and murdered in Central Park. She was placed on the rocks overlooking the lake with her hands posed as if she’s in prayer and then her killer surgically removed her eyes and took them with him.

Eve is called into the case on her way home from a function with Roarke. The next day a physic, Celina Sanchez, calls Eve to say she has seen the whole murder in her dreams. She appears to have details the police have not yet released. Eve, very reluctantly, brings her on as a consultant to the police.

As the bodies keep coming, the police don't seem to be able to catch the perpetrator. Peabody is attacked on her way home from the subway and miraculously escapes but not without a lot of injuries. This raises the stakes and now the whole police department is on the hunt.

Mavis and Lenardo are closer to having their baby with the common parental fears.

I loved this 19th book especially the twist. Eve and Roarke , what's not to love?

First Line: "She'd gotten through the entire evening without killing anyone."


Terrified by Kevin O'Brien
Megan Keeler died years ago. Megan faked her own suicide and ran away from her abusive husband(Glenn) from Chicago to Seattle. Not long afterwards the police find the dismembered parts of a woman close to Glenn's house and charge him with Megan's murder. Megan at the same time finds out she is pregnant and fearing for her son's life keeps quiet and hidden. Glenn is convicted and goes to jail.

Fifteen years later, Josh, Megan's son knows nothing of his mother's past. Megan begins to get threatening letters. Glenn has just been released from jail because DNA testing proved the body was not Megan. And then the unthinkable happens and Josh is kidnapped.

This book is definitely a page-turner. Just when the reader thinks he has things figured out another twist comes along to displace the latest theory.

First Line: "Her son was awfully quiet."

Santa in Montana

Santa in Montana by Janet Dailey
The Calders will be celebrating Christmas in Montana with the whole family. Chase Calder the patriarch is planning the happiest Christmas ever. He plans on getting a special gift for everyone.

Cat needs a man in her life according to Chase as she is nagging him about his diet. Chase invites Wade Rogers to the ranch and the family is scared Wade might be scamming Chase.

This book brings the clan together and some of the mysteries are solved. Not a bad read for what is currently the last book in the series

First Line: "A chinook wind, long known as the snow-eater by native tribes, swept across the vast Montana plains."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ordeal by Sea by Thomas Helm

Ordeal By Sea by Thomas Helm
Genre of book

A large cruiser called the USS Indianapolis was responsible for delivering the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the island of Tinian. Now, on a new mission in the Pacific, suddenly two explosions slam in to the ship from Japanese torpedoes. In a matter of minutes, the ship starts sinking and some big decisions need to be made.

The description of what happened in the time between the ship being hit and sinking is rather disjointed, as Helm jumps around to many different stories, re-starting at the time of the hit for each person. There's no logical break in these stories either so at times it feels rather poorly written. However, the point of this book is to tell what happened to the men on the ship during this time.

The other oddity in this case is that the captain, Charles McVay, was court martialed when he returned to the USA. Not many people seem to fully understand why this happened and to this day they are still trying to overturn the decision.

First Line: "At 2300 Navy time or eleven p.m. 29 July 1945, Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto mounted the conning tower of his submarine I-58."


Old School Ties

Old School Ties by Kate Harrison
Women's Fiction
Tracey Mortimer was the Queen of her high school. When Tracey spots an ad to make a reality TV show about the perfect school reunion, she jumps at the chance. Tracey is a suburban housewife with a cheating husband and two kids who dislike her.

When Tracey starts to get in touch with her old schoolmates she is not prepared for the outcome. It turns out that Tracey was a bully. She terrorized, humiliated and treated her classmates awfully. What is really sad is that Tracey does not even realize what she has done.

Will there even be a reunion?

I felt absolutely not one whiff of sympathy for Tracey. She should get everything back in spades. Also it might be nice if she grew a brain. Not my fav of reads

First Line: "Last night, when the third gin and tonic finally knocked the sharp edges off the day, I dared to look in the mirror."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Definitely Dead

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
Urban Fantasy
Sookie Stackhouse, small town barmaid, has to go to New Orleans to finalize the estate of her dead vampire cousin Hadley.  However, a host of people do not want her to go and stir things up.

Sookie finds out about Bill's motivations and understandably is very upset.  I, personally, am glad Bill is history because I felt he was too egocentric.  Ditto Eric.  Sookie finds a dead body turned to vampire and almost gets killed along with the new character of Amelia.  Amelia is a lovely addition which it looks like we will see more of.

Hadley happened to be the consort of the Queen vampire of Louisiana.  But the Queen has just been married to the King of Arkansas.  Are you getting some of the confusion here?  In this installment of the series there is the usually fighting, gore and magic.

I have got to admit to an addiction.  This should probably remain a dirty little secret as this is not the best written series of books around.

First Line: "I was draped over the arm of one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen, and he was staring into my eyes."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dead as a Doornail

Dead as a Doornail  by Charlaine Harris
Urban Fantasy
Sookie Stackhouse, small town bar waitress is a friend of the supernaturals.  Her brother, Jason in the last book was bitten so many times that he will change at the new moon into a were-panther.

In the parking lot of Merlottes, the bar Sookie works at, Sam her shape-shifting boss is shot.  The were-panthers think Jason might be involved as revenge for turning him.  So Sookie must find out who is sniping at the shifters before the next new moon.

In the meantime, Sookie also gets to watch the Shreveport Werewolf leadership competition.  She is there as a telepath to prevent any cheating.

Sookie must surely have some attraction pheromone thing going on as all her admirers keep sniffing around: Bill, Eric, Alcide, Sam and now Quinn.  A girl can't have too many beaus, can she?  Somehow this book just didn't wow me as much as the others.

First Line: "I knew my brother would turn into a panther before he did"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Jake Epping leads a boring life in 2011. As he finishes grading papers of his English class in 2011, he remembers reading Harry Dunning's story on how his father killed his entire family and almost him when he was a child, leaving Harry with a permanent limp. Jake is interrupted by friend and diner owner Al who sounds very sick. Jake drives over to the diner and Al looks years older than he did yesterday. Al wants to share his secret with Jake, as he's learned he has cancer: there's a rabbit hole in the diner's cellar that leads back to September 9, 1958.

Jake walks through the rabbit hole and visits 1958 for a short period of time, just to get a root beer. Everyone seems friendlier and the food tastes better. Back in 2011 he learns that every time he goes through the hole, he's back at September 9, 1958. Time re-sets each visit. Al tells Jake his intentions were to go through the rabbit hole and wait for four years until the assassination of JFK so he could put a stop to it. He thoroughly researched Lee Harvey Oswald but couldn't finish his quest, or even determine if Oswald was the only shooter before he got too sick. Jake must go through the hole for Al and see if he can carry through this quest.

The past, however, does not like to be changed. It will throw everything at you to try and stop you from changing the past. Jake also notices how there are harmonies in the past. If he stops one thing from happening, it may happen somewhere else. This concept and the butterfly effect makes this book particularly interesting.

Surprisingly, this 800-pager is the very first Stephen King book I've ever read. I've never been a big fan of horror books but this is far from it. It's a cross between historical fiction, thriller, and science fiction. I've always had this preconceived notion that because King churns out so many novels that his writing wouldn't be very good, but that's not the case.

The characters in this book are near-perfect. Jake Epping is boring enough that you can relate to him but not so boring that he isn't interesting. He steps up when he needs to but in a way that you could picture yourself doing so. The other gems in this novel are the harmonies created in the past. People he meets are named the similarly, he sees his car twice, etc. This obviously took a lot of planning on King's part and it was executed very well.

Despite the high praise, there were some small issues that nagged at me. The first was why a restaurant owner would go to Jake with this information. They weren't close friends but rather almost acquaintances. Not the type of person I would share this information with. The second was when Epping noticed the harmony between Sadie (his girlfriend in the 60s) and the mother of Harry Dunning. I felt like I had missed a crucial piece of the plot when I read this part and actually had to re-read it a few times. I ended up searching the internet and seeing that other people had the same problem. I think King dropped the ball on this part.

The ending felt a little rushed, however it was really the only ending this book could have and I felt satisfied. This has been one of my better reads of the year.

First Line: "I have never been what you’d call a crying man."


Club Dead

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Urban Fantasy
This is the third installment of Sookie Stackhouse.  Bill, her vampire boyfriend, leaves to go on a business trip for an extended period of time.  The relationship has not been going well.  Eric, the lead vampire in the area, asks Sookie to use her telepathy and go to Mississippi to find Bill who has been visiting an old flame and gotten himself kidnapped.  WHAT??

Sookie goes and is escorted by Alcide Herveraux who is a yummy werewolf.  They visit Club Dead, owned by the vampire king of Mississippi.  They follow the clues and of course Eric shows up in disguise.  There is a lot of mayhem, murder, stakings and torture.  And a full moon at exactly the right time which brings out all the werewolves.  

This is a fun fluff read.  Sookie is a bit too kind as who goes to rescue a boyfriend who has been cheating on you.  Why does every supernatural being fall in love with Sookie?  This is getting a bit much or maybe I am jealous :)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dead to the World

Dead to the World  by Charlaine Harris


Sookie and Bill have broken up and Bill has gone to Peru.  Sookie, returning home after her job in Merlotte's Bar, sees a half-naked man running up her street.  Being in an isolated area, Sookie stops to find Eric, the vampire Sheriff, in a very bad state.  He has lost his memory and is now basically a loveable 'teddy bear'.  If a vampire can be called that.

Evidently the witches responsible for his memory loss want him found and dead.  It is up to Sookie to hide and protect him.  Sookie loves the new Eric and one thing leads to another......

At the same time Sookie's brother Jason goes missing.  Sookie tries her hardest to find him.  We have were-animals ( all of them seem to be represented), witches ( good and bad) and vampires. 

Unlike many others I do not like the new Eric as well, he is just too soft and likeable.  A little edge is good.  Sookie, what can I say, supes are just not good for you.  Lots of pain and death all around. 

This series is addictive.  Why?  Maybe because we know these vamps aren't good for Sookie and like in real life what isn't good for you is more interesting then what is good for you.

First Line: "I found the note taped to my door when I got home from work."