Archive for June, 2014

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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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! 🙂


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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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Happy first day of June! I hope this finds you well. May was a really tough month for me, so due to my absence from the blog, I’ve got two great suggestions for you this week. They’re both by John Sandford—his Lucas Davenport series—and are real page-turners.

The first book is Field of Prey, and the title is pretty telling. Yeesh. In this mystery, a couple of teenagers are out in a field in rural Minnesota (doing what teenagers do) and come across a very grisly discovery that puts Lucas and his team on a manhunt before another victim can be added to the killer’s list. What I admire so much about Sandford’s writing is that there never seems to be a lull; there’s never a boring spot where you think “C’mon, c’mon, get to the point.” This book is a super-fast read that’s got some great twists and turns. *Just a side note: there’s a pretty tough few scenes with a female officer toward the end of the book. It’s not overly graphic, but it’s bothersome, so I just wanted to give you a heads-up on that.*

The second book is Silken Prey, and while I really liked both books, I enjoyed this one a little more. This story involves politicians up to dirty tricks in the lovely state of Minnesota, ranging from planting child pornography on a competitor’s computer to murder. In this book, Lucas is personally asked by the governor to get to the bottom of the mayhem, and it’s great to follow the thread as Lucas unwinds all the chaos to determine who was behind what, when they knew what, how they knew what, why they did what they did, etc. This story had some playful aspects to it that were fun, and there’s one character who should have had-it-coming that apparently got away with murder, or at least accessory to murder. Argh! Maybe we’ll see that character in a future book; I sure hope so because we readers need to see justice served, ya’ know?

I hope you give both of these Sandford books a try; they’ll be great reads on a back deck or at the beach/pool during this nice weather. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂


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