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Archive for July, 2012

Happy July 22nd! I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying a beautiful Sunday.

This week’s read/listen was Past Caring by Robert Goddard. Let me begin by saying it was LONG. It was quite good, but it was LONG. If there is such thing as a “winter book” then I think this would be a perfect fit. This book needs an afghan, cocoa, fireplace, the whole deal.

The story has a similar start to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, in that a writer/historian is commissioned to do some research on a politician from seventy years prior. The man in question was Edwin Straford, an Edwardian Cabinet Minister, who inexplicably resigned at the height of his career, while the woman he loved simultaneously rejected him. The research about Edwin was conducted largely through the reading of his memoirs. I initially found myself saying “Who really cares about a long-dead politico from England?” But my cynicism was overcome when the hired historian, Martin Radford, started to unravel the mystery to reveal all sorts of juicy tidbits…

The story addresses true love, hate, jealousy, the suffragette movement, revenge, murder, betrayal, and a flawed main character that tries to make sense of it all. By the end of the book, it felt as if Martin and Edwin, long dead, had forged a bond of deep friendship from beyond Edwin’s grave. It had the heart-wrenching feel of The Thornbirds or Wuthering Heights, but it was very worth the time invested to get to the end. It’s LONG. Did I mention that? 😉 ‘Til next week, make the best of each day and happy reading!

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Good Sunday morning people! I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying some sunshine wherever you are.

This week’s read was The Bishop by Steven James, a first-time author for me. And I must say, the dude has earned himself a new fan! I’ve already downloaded another book of his and can’t wait to get started.

Anyway, The Bishop is one of those books that has several seemingly unrelated events/murders occurring in each subsequent chapter, and you’ll find yourself wondering “What in the heck does any of this have to do with any of that?” Well, it all has everything to do with everything, but it takes awhile to uncover the gory details.

The main character in the book is FBI Agent Patrick Bowers, whose life has turned into balancing his intense career while raising his smart, beautiful stepdaughter whose mother has recently died. The setting of the book is in and around the D.C. area, which I love, because it’s got so much juicy governmental stuff going on all the time. When a congressman’s daughter is declared dead via gruesome means—and then it turns out to not be his daughter—but then his daughter actually is murdered, let’s just say, it gets some people’s attention. Who would fake her murder but then actually murder her? And why? And since the hotel where she was initially taken was the same hotel as a vice-presidential assassination attempt years earlier, is there some kind of connection? And does the psychopath from Bowers’ past—recently released from prison because of DNA evidence—who has suddenly resurged on the scene have anything to do with all of it? Or is it a different psychopath who’s been presumed dead for several years now? Or is it someone else altogether?…you get the picture. There’s all kinds of good stuff whirling around, and it’s fun to watch the weaving of the web. (Is that even an accurate phrase?)

In the spirit of full disclosure, there are a couple of small parts in the book where things are discussed such as nanotechnology, psychopathology, primate metacognition, and the neurology of violence. Sigh. While interesting stuff, I did roll my eyes a bit, especially when some of the pontificating was coming from the seventeen-year-old stepdaughter. But that’s probably just because my inner seventeen-year-old was feeling inadequate, so don’t worry about it too much. I bring it up because it gets a smidge tedious, but it doesn’t last long, I promise. And the story is so good that I don’t want you to give up on it because of some kind-of-boring-big-words, lol. It’s a super-fast-paced, great story. ‘Til next week, happy reading!  🙂

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Kill Shot

Kill Shot.

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Happy Sunday morning and happy first day of July! Where does the time go?

This week’s read was Kill Shot by Vince Flynn, starring his main character Mitch Rapp. I’ve read a bunch of Flynn’s novels with this main character, and the dude is a CIA terrorist-fighting-machine. In this book, Rapp is only one year into his career, and he’s stationed in Paris. It’s interesting to learn about Mitch in his younger years, and the descriptions of the City of Light, well…sigh. 🙂  It’s a beautiful place.

I digress. In Kill Shot, Rapp is on a sanctioned mission to rid the world of yet-another-terrorist. Prior to this assignment, he’s been on quite a successful roll of eliminating bad guys. However, on this particular outing, Rapp is ambushed and barely escapes with his life. Now on the run, he doesn’t know if the terrorists finally caught up with him or if it’s actually someone within the U.S. Government, trying to get rid of Mitch because of some bad blood. It’s a great cat-and-mouse game, with Rapp eventually figuring out who he can trust, but there’s definitely some carnage while he’s sorting things out.

This book was a timely read as my nation’s birthday is coming up. Even though Mitch Rapp is a fictional character, there are men and women around the world who do what he does every day. So during this week of July 4th, I would like to send a massive THANK YOU to our troops who make America the land of the free and the home of the brave. I admire you and will be forever grateful for your sacrifice. ‘Til next week, have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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