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Deadline

Good Sunday morning, I hope the air is crisp and clean wherever you are. The foliage in New England right now is gorgeous, and I need to enjoy it now because I know what’s to come…

This week’s read was Deadline, by John Sandford, the eighth in the Virgil Flowers series. Sandford has always been one of my faves, and this book didn’t disappoint.

In this story, Virgil gets called to a sleepy town in Minnesota, where there’s been a series of dognappings, leaving the locals in need of some help. What Virgil doesn’t know initially is the town has another ugly situation as well: the school board has been quietly embezzling millions for years, and when a local reporter gets murdered, Virgil finds himself neck-deep in not one, but two, ugly cases in rural, middle America.

The dog-angle in this story really tugged my heart strings because I lost the four-legged love of my life earlier this year. The ending had me in happy tears, but I don’t know if that’s because of the writing or because of my own emotional ties. Either way, this is another great book by Sandford; the banter between the characters and the smooth way Virgil puts the pieces together makes for an easy, enjoyable read. Now I’ve got to wait patiently for Book #9 in this series. Ugh! ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

Criminal

Good Sunday morning! I hope this finds everyone doing great and enjoying the best sports month of the year. I love October. (I just wish the Red Sox were still playing…)

Before diving into the book recommendation, I’d like to wish my friend Staci Shuber a very happy birthday today.

This week’s read is Criminal by Karin Slaughter and is part of the Will Trent series. (It’s not necessary to read the prior books before this one, but they’re all good as well). Despite a childhood filled with foster care and a learning disability, Will has overcome a lot of obstacles to become a well-respected agent in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. So he finds it a little odd when his boss, Amanda Wagner, purposely keeps him off a case of a missing teenage girl. When he delves into the reasons why, Will uncovers more than he could have imagined, and a horrific case that launched Amanda’s career back in the 1970s is somehow brought back to life, with all of its ugly secrets.

This book does a lot of flashing back and flashing forward from chapter to chapter, and it’s interesting to read about the early days when Amanda was trying to break into the boys’ club that was the Atlanta Police Department. The story starts a little slow, but the momentum builds throughout as Slaughter ties all the loose ends together. This isn’t a fast-paced page turner, but it’s a good slow burn to an ending that’s OMG-worthy. If you give it a go, please let me know what you think. ‘Til next week, happy reading! :-)

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! :-)

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