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Personal

Good Sunday morning! I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the transition to fall.

Book 19 in the Jack Reacher series is titled Personal, by Lee Child, and it’s another butt-kicking doozy. As is typical in these stories, retired military cop Reacher suddenly finds himself pulled back into service when he’d really rather just keep wandering the countryside. When the President of France is shot at by someone using an American bullet, Reacher is called on to help. The distance between the shooter and the target was exceptional, and the experts have narrowed it down to only a handful of people in the world. The primary suspect is a recently-released sniper who Reacher locked up fifteen years before, who’s now unaccounted for and presumably wreaking havoc. Is it possible the sniper maintained and even honed his skills while locked up? Is it possible that he has the financial backing and organizational skills required to take a shot at a President? That’s for Reacher, and his newly-appointed sidekick, novice Casey Nice to find out.

In Personal, like the others in the series, you can count on some heavy-duty action with a big body count at the end. While I generally like Reacher being the loner that is his nature, I enjoyed the twist of adding the rookie agent to work with him in this story. I wouldn’t want Reacher partnered up in every book, but it was nice to see a different side of him through his interactions with her. If you’re looking for a fast-paced story with dangerous political ramifications, this book is for you. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Hounded

Good Sunday morning! It’s been forever, and I hope this finds you doing well.

Truth be told, I’ve plowed through some pretty crappy books lately, and since I’m not a “critic” I’m not going to bash any of those. But I do have a fun recommendation for this week. It’s called Hounded, by David Rosenfelt. He’s always been one of my faves, and this one didn’t disappoint.

This mystery sees Andy Carpenter, irreverent and lottery-winning attorney, defending one of his best friends, policeman Pete Stanton, on a murder charge. Complications arise when Andy and his live-in girlfriend, Laurie, are asked to take in the four-year-old son and basset hound of the murder victim. Shouldering responsibilities that he’s never faced before, while helping his friend fight the trumped up charges, Andy uncovers much more than he bargained for and wonders if his cushy life will ever again be the same.

Witty, sarcastic, and very quick paced, I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will, too. The only bad thing about Rosenfelt’s books is that they end too soon. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Rogue Island

Good rainy Sunday morning! I hope this finds you well.

This blog is going to be short and sweet, and the read for this week was Rogue Island, another one by Bruce DeSilva. When homes in a certain section of Rhode Island start to burn down at a frenzied pace, main character and newspaper reporter Liam Mulligan makes it his mission to find out who’s responsible for torching the neighborhood he grew up in. While authorities are baffled and the public turns to vigilante justice, Mulligan systematically follows the clues that lead him to the people behind the crimes, nearly paying the ultimate price for his findings. Fast-paced with both humor and poignancy, this is a good read, especially for a rainy New England day like today.

Next up with be Hounded, by David Rosenfelt, one of my very faves. His latest book came out on my birthday, so that was an extra-special present I wasn’t expecting, and so far it’s great. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Cliff Walk

Good Sunday morning! It’s a beautiful day in New England, and I hope the same is true wherever you are.

This week’s book was Cliff Walk by Bruce DeSilva. I recommended a different book of his a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it so much that I immediately decided to read Cliff Walk. And okay, I liked it well enough that I just downloaded another one, Rogue Island. Of course, I’m reading them completely out-of-order, but what else is new? Let’s just say Bruce has a new fan.

Anyway, this book sees main character Liam Mulligan, Rhode Island newspaper journalist and solver-of-crimes, looking into some really heavy, bothersome topics. When it seems that the owner of a number of strip joints goes missing, ostensibly murdered, Liam is directed to look into it.  The path leads him to some seedy people and unsavory topics–with ties to missing kids–and he wonders if the strip joint kingpin also had something to do with child pornography. Add to the mess some children’s body parts found in a rural part of the state, and you’ve got yourself a whole lot of bad guys who need to be stopped.

This book had some heavy topics, but in my opinion it wasn’t too graphic or drawn out enough to wreck the story. I wouldn’t say it’s a “light read” but it definitely makes you thankful for the good guys out on the streets who are willing to make our world a better place. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

The Killing Hour

Good warm Sunday morning! I hope you have some fun plans for the day.

This week’s read was The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner. It’s about a killer who abducts young women in pairs, in the hottest of hot summers, and he murders the first woman and leaves the second one alive, in less-than-desirable circumstances. The first woman always has clues on her person as to the second’s location, so it’s a game that the killer plays with the authorities, to see if they can find the second victim before nature takes its course. When a dead woman’s body is dumped smack in the middle of the FBI training grounds, it’s obvious that heads are going to roll, and agent-in-training Kimberly Quincy is a pistol of a main character who gets intertwined in the case after finding the body and then can’t let it go for personal reasons. She knows a victim is out there somewhere, depending on her to get inside the killer’s mind, and the clock is ticking as the heat intensifies.

Gardner’s books are all very good, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s an easy, fast read that will keep you wondering until the end, and it’s got just a hint of romance but not enough to make you hurl. This is a perfect summer read for the beach or outside under a tree. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Providence Rag

Good Sunday morning! I hope the sun is shining and the birds are chirping wherever you are today.

I finished listening to a GREAT book this week and am excited about recommending it to you. The name is Providence Rag, by Bruce DeSilva. When I read the excerpt, it didn’t completely grab me, but the author is local, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was thought-provoking, fast-paced, sarcastic and funny. Needless to say, woo-hoo!

The premise of the book is based on a real case, and it has to do with an antiquated law in the state of Rhode Island. In this fictional story, a young teen commits five horrific murders and is sent to prison; however, the law in RI says that any incarcerated juvenile–regardless of the crime–must be released at age twenty-one. (!) Big yikes to that. Fast forward many years later, and the man is still in jail, way past the age of twenty-one. A do-gooder at a dying newspaper in Rhode Island starts sniffing around and realizes that the killer is still locked up because of trumped-up charges from inside the prison, i.e. attacking a guard and drugs inside his cell. So, by law, it would seem that justice isn’t being served because they’re keeping him under false pretenses. But if justice is served, then the murderer will be set free, and everyone knows he’ll kill again. Holy conundrum.

The two best things about this book is the main character, Liam Mulligan, who’s smart, sarcastic, and a Yankees baseball hater. He helps break the case when the teen is initially found guilty and gets involved again when it seems the man will be released. The second wonderful thing about this books is all the local references. If you’re from Rhode Island or Massachusetts, you’ll recognize a lot of the local haunts, restaurants, street names, things like that. If you’re not from that area, don’t sweat it; it’s still a fun read and will keep you entertained until the end. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

 

Missing You

Good Sunday morning! I hope this finds you well.

So this week’s “recommendation” is Missing You, by Harlan Coben. I’ve always liked his books and thought this one would be another fast, great read. But the reason I wrote “recommendation” with the quotes is because it’s not a typical Coben book; if you’re also a fan, it’s not his usual style.

Two alerts: #1) I don’t love his writing from a female perspective. The first couple chapters start with two girlfriends at a bar, one who’s signed the other up for a dating website (which becomes relevant later in the story). The banter between the ladies made me feel like I was reading some average-at-best chick lit, and I don’t read chick lit. It makes my hair hurt. The supposedly-witty-female blather did go away by the third chapter, so I kept reading.  If it hadn’t, I would have ditched the book. To be fair, I listened to the book, rather than read it, so maybe the narrator just made me a little nuts in that section. Still. #2) The story gets a bit gruesome in some parts, and that isn’t vintage Coben, either. It wasn’t page after page, but there were a couple of gory sections.

That said…if someone said to me, “Say yes or no. Should I read it or not?” I would answer yes. It’s a very good plot, with Coben tying three seemingly unrelated issues together: the dating website, a missing woman, and the death of the main character’s father a couple of decades prior. There’s a lot of investigative work in the story, bringing together many loose ends and marrying up the past with the present. And I was completely shocked when the father’s killer was finally revealed at the end and tip my hat to the author for that one. Well played.

This probably seems like a half-hearted recommendation, but it’s not. I just felt compelled to do those disclaimers, and I’ve never played “critic” because who the heck am I? It’s a solid read, and I wouldn’t say it’s fast-paced, but it’s got good momentum throughout the book. And if you do give it a shot, I’d love to see some comments on the blog with your thoughts. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

 

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