Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Medici Dagger by Cameron West


Stuntman Reb Barnett doesn't like thinking about the past. His parents were killed in a fire while his dad was trying to acquire papers from Da Vinci. Since then, Reb has lived on the edge and had troubles trusting people. He gets a call from someone that is supposed to be dead to help continue his dad's quest and Reb can't help but continue to live dangerously and complete his dad's quest. This takes him to Italy and in to the path of Ginny, who has two of the papers. When people try to kill them, Ginny and Reb run and know they must decode the papers quickly to save their lives.

The plot was interesting. Decoding two circles of truth to find the Medici Dagger, made of a metal light as air. Decoding the circles and finding the dagger was the most enjoyable part of the book. The reason why it needed to be found and kept away from the bad guys was ridiculous. The reason was convoluted. A much simpler reason would have sufficed.

Anything to do with characters in this book was horrible. The mood swings from these people was insane. Ginny goes from crying with joy to slapping Reb in the face with anger. What the hell is that? The characters were annoying and because of their wild mood swings you couldn't take any of them seriously.

First Line: "I sank into the black leather sofa in my father's spacious office, leaning against a pillow that looked like a big, silky Chiclet."


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly


In this cross-over book for Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller, one of Haller's old colleagues is killed in the parking lot of his office and Haller is called in to take over all of his cases. This brings Haller out of his year-long break, recovering from being shot. Haller has a big case now, that of millionaire Walter Elliot, charged with murdering his wife and her lover. The prosecutor has a pretty solid case against Elliot and Haller needs to get up to speed quickly, determine what his colleague had discovered, and what he can do to fight this case. Bosch enters the picture, trying to solve the murder of the lawyer.

We get a completely different picture of Bosch in this book. Rather than being in his mind as he investigates a crime, this time we're with one of his suspects as he investigates them. They way Bosch investigated Haller made him seem like a jerk, though we know that he's fantastic at his job. I fear that if this were my first time reading him, I'd probably not like him! Good thing, Bosch, that I know you so well.

This book captured my attention right away. I had troubles putting it down, wanting to know how Haller was going to get his client off (if he could), and if Bosch was going to catch his killer. The books in this series seem to be getting better and better. I didn't have much intention of reading the Haller series, but after this book I need to. This was a great mystery!


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay


Dexter Morgan is a blood analyst at the Miami Police Department, but he has a very dark secret. Dexter likes to kill. Trained by his adopted dad, Dexter was given a code and only kills those that deserve it; criminals that the justice system has let slip through the cracks. When body parts start turning up around Miami completely drained of blood, Dexter can't help but admire the work it takes to do that. His sister, Officer Deborah Morgan, wants to become a detective and believes this is the case that will get her there. She works with her brother to try and figure out who is doing this and catch them. But Dexter can't figure out if he really does want to catch this "artist".

Having watched the television series, I knew the background on the characters. I wonder if this would have made as much sense to me without having seen the tv show first. I also wonder if I would like Dexter without the tv show.

The story itself was more about Dexter than it was about the mystery, which is odd for a mystery book. Usually the characters take a back seat for the mystery but it was the opposite in this case. I would read the next book the series, but hopefully it focuses a little bit more on the mystery.

First Line: "Moon."


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Dangerous Denial by Amy Ray


Trevor Mayhew grew up in a broken home. His father abused him and his mom passed away when he was young. Trevor's grandmother was the only source of happiness in his life but he was forbidden from seeing her, until his grandmother took Trevor and ran away. Years later, the past catches up to him.

BK Hartshaw also had a less than loving childhood. Her mother favoured her other sister and, once their mom married a rich car mogul, the kids were basically forgotten. Trying to make something of herself, BK moves in to an apartment with her best friend and starts work at a PR firm. BK's friend has a stalker though, causing the girls to always be looking over their shoulders.

This book is a thriller through-and-through. Most of the characters are treated horribly, which makes you root for them and hope they make positive changes in their life that their families try to stop from happening. Despite rooting for these characters, I felt like I didn't know them enough. I think this may have been a factor of the time shifting in the book. There were months and even whole years skipped in the book for, I assume, the purpose of shortening the book, however if some of that additional time had been included in the book I feel like I would have more context behind the characters and the decisions they were making. For example, what really happened between BK and her boyfriend Max? Rather than their split making sense, it felt like just a tool for driving the plot forward. Added to this, the book started with headlines as to which year we were in, but later in the book this seemed to be forgotten and I got a little confused as to where in time we were.

This book is a quick, fun read for those in to thriller novels. I would recommend it as a summer read, even though that season is now behind us. Pretty good for a debut author!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this book tour!

First Line: "BK Hartshaw stared at the face of the man with the gun."


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About the Author
Amy lives near the short but picturesque seacoast in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. Before becoming a writer she owned an old fashioned five and dime store where, in addition to regular priced merchandise, she had a display of items that actually retailed for five or ten cents each.

Dangerous Denial is her first published novel.

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova


Sarah is a busy and successful mom and career woman. She's a VP of HR at a consulting company and always on the go. Juggling this with her three kids takes a lot of work but somehow her husband and her manage to keep all the balls in the air. While trying to drive and answer emails, Sarah gets in an accident that results in a serious brain injury: she can no longer see or process anything on her left side. The disease is called Left Neglect and its sufferers don't realize that there is even a left. The picture of just the right looks whole to them. Sarah must go through rehabilitation, which brings her mother in to town to help her, and a variety of unresolved issues about her childhood.

Having never heard of Left Neglect, this book does a fantastic job of explaining what it is and an even better job of how someone processes and deals with having it. We watch Sarah go through many emotions from when she doesn't even know she has any problems to surprise of having the disease, some denial, hope to getting back to work, and acceptance of how hard things are going to be.

Funnily enough, I felt that Sarah was a bit stuck up (she mentioned how she was a Harvard grad too many times to count) and don't feel like I was pulling for her as much as I could have been if the character hadn't been written the way she was in the first 100 pages or so. I'm not sure if this was meant to be like this, or if Genova was iterating how educated and put-together Sarah was so we could see how left neglect could completely destroy everyday life for someone like that.

I really enjoyed this book. It taught me about something I never knew about before and was an easy read.

First Line: "I think some part of me knew I was living an unsustainable life."