Monday, September 24, 2007

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Wow... what a great book! I so get what all of the excitement and hype was about this book. Though I normally try and reserve A+ grades for those books I would reread again and I would not probably reread this book, I do give it an A+.

Damaged Portland Detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of an other kind- addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off of his mind. Archie's a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she's right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth- he can't stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen for once and for all.

This book has it all. Such a great and wonderful well written thriller story but it was not all bloods and guts. There was a great character development with a bunch of the characters, though mostly with Susan and Archie. I loved Susan and sometimes wanted to go through the pages and strangle Archie for some of the things he choses to do. Gretchen's hold over Archie is unbelievable and the things that she did to him are absolutely unbelievable. I have read that this is the first book in a trilogy and absolutely HATE the fact that I have to wait any amount of time for the next installment. Anyone who has any info for me needs to let me know. ASAP.

Up next is Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. He is the author of Mystic River and the movie based on this book is to be released soon. It was recently in the news because the movie's release is being pushed back in England because of the disappereance of Madeline. That really peaked my interest as I have been following the case and always kinda suspected the parents. I mean give me a break, what type of parents leave their young children under the age of three alone when they go to dinner?!? Anyways I picked it up from the library and will get started with it now. Hopefully it won't take me as long as the past few books have.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blown Away by Shane Gericke

Whew... I finally finished a book! It took me forever since school has been so busy and crazy and on the weekends we have always had plans. Though I love my students and teaching, it is just so much work! But it will be worth it! Anyways, I have both of Shane Gericke books and I was looking forward to a good, gritty supense novel and grabbed this one off of my shelf. It was a good read, and once I got less than halfway through, it really held my attention. I give it a B.

Since joining the force, rookie cop Emily Thompson has had one ambition: to work homicide. Now she's got her chance. A twisted sociopath is turning her safe Chicago suburb into a brutal killing field, and every single one of his grisly clues leads directly to Emily. In 72 hours, on her fortieth birthday, he intends to make her his greatest trophy. If she doesn't stop him before then, Emily's first case will be her last.

In a city gripped by terror, and with little more to go on than her instincts, Emily must match wits with a madman bent on chilling revenge. It is an investigation that will lead her into a nightmare world of unimaginable crimes, the dark secrets of her own past- and to a final shocking discovery...

The suspense part of the book was really good. I had a pretty good idea who the bad guy was, but some clues kept making me second guess myself. I loved how flashbacks were done which really allowed the reader to get a good insight on Emily. However, sometimes I had to go back and reread passages because the author didn't give a lot of explanations for some things. It was a little bit confusing and hard to follow at times. The author also used a TON of exclamation points. They were everywhere, for things that really did not require an exclamation point and it really grated on my nerves. Overall though, I think it was a good first suspense novel written. However, I do feel I should warn you that the little romance was so off of the wall and it was pretty graphic in some of the killings that really kinda upset me when I normally do not.

Up next is a book that I have highly antipicated and waiting for... Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. I have heard great things about this book from blogs and other places about how good this book is supposed to be. I hope it holds up and I hope I can read it within a week. LOL.

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Party Girl by Anna David

I am not sure were I heard about this book but I had it on hold for awhile at the library and it finally came in on Friday. This was a definite change from my usual reading type, but it was still a good book. I rate it a B.

Celebrity journalist Amelia Stone is the quintessential L.A. party girl. She goes to Hollywood's most exclusive, star-studded events, where she rubs shoulders (and occasionally more) with celebrities, stays out until all hours of the night, and indulges in the ultimate sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll existence. In short, she's got everything a party girl needs: the looks, the the job, the lifestyle. And oh, yes, the out-of -control coke habit.

But it's hard to keep topping your own outrageous exploits, and after losing her job, her friends, and much of her mind (not to mention waking up in the hospital after combining five Ambien, four lines of Special K, and an inestimable amount of cocaine), Amelia makes the drastic decision to end her drug abuse. Soberity, she finds, has it's rewards: she starts seeing the man who could be Mr. Right and gets hired by a big-name magazine to write a column detailing her wild adventures with the Hollywood crowd. And who could write it better? After all, she has plenty of experience to draw on.

There's just one little problem. Overnight, Amelia Stone has become the new face of Hollywood nightlife, and her editior- who don't know she's become clean-want her to play the part. As her popularity skyrockets and the film and TV agents start calling, the lure of her former fast-and-furious lifestyle begins to pull at her. Faced with the most exciting opportunity of her career, she must now decide to either save herself- or salvage her reputation as the ultimate party girl.

This book is a semi-autobiographical book as the author has dealt with a lot of the same issues in her life. It was really interesting to see how someone can rationalize their thoughts when they are addicted to such a destructive lifestyle. At first when I read the blurb about this book I was sure it was going to be somewhat of a chick-lit type of book but it wasn't. Yes, you have a writer living in a big city, but she doesn't talk about clothes all of the time, I think only mentions shoes once and even states that she doesn't wear makeup. It does go into all of the dirty and disgusting things that happens in Hollywood, and I have to tend to believe that it is mostly true. Overall, it was a really good book and I enjoyed it.

Not sure what is up next, but I hope to get some more reading done. It felt good to finish a book so fast. Hope everyone had a great weekend and happy reading!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Elevator by Angela Hunt

While looking over the shelves at the library, I came across this book. It is a Steeple Hill suspense book and I was nervous about trying it since I don't like reading about people worshiping God all of the time. I believe in what I believe and will worship Him, but don't want to read all about it in my books. But I checked it out anyways and it was a pretty good book. I give it a B.

In the path of a devastating hurricane, three very different women find themselves trapped in the elevator of a high-rise office building. All three conceal shattering secrets- unaware that their secrets center on the same man.

The betrayed wife, eager to confront her faithless husband, with rage in her heart and a gun in her pocket...

The determined mistress, finally ready to tell her lover she wants marriage and a family...

The fugitive cleaning woman, tormented by the darkest secret of all...

As the storm rages ever closer, these three must unite to fight for their lives in the greatest test of courage- and faith- any woman could ever face.

This book was good. The pace was well written and the story moved well. It was a bit cliched, but it worked and was done good. I got sucked into the story and loved the way the reader gets information about the three ladies and their history. I wouldn't call the book a suspense book but more like an adventure story. The descriptions of the destruction of the hurricane are so clearly written.

While I enjoyed this book, I probably won't search out another Christian book. It wasn't overly preachey, but I think I like a little more grit and maybe a bit of murder in my suspense books. Call me a psycho, but that is what interests me the most!

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I know school is kicking my butt. I have been working so many hours and going from zero to one hundred and it is knocking me out. I do want to read, but right now I am just so tired. I hope everyone is reading and enjoying the last weeks of summer. Happy Reading!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Denial by Keith Ablow

I have several of Mr. Ablow's novels, but after reading a review on a blog for his book Denial, I ran out to the library and checked it out. It was a good book, though I really felt it was short on suspense. I grade Denial a B+.

Frank Clevenger is a forsenic pyschiatrist who hates authority, fears intimacy, uses sex as an anesthetic, is tortured by his professional mistakes, and can't free himself from the shadows of a brutal, alcoholic father and an absent, unfeeling mother. But it is precisely this injured psyche that allows hiim to understand the deranged behavior of the mental and emotional outcasts who cross his professional path.

As Denial opens, all of Clevenger's understanding and expertise are put to the test: He has been asked to rubber-stamp the mental competence of a homeless schizophrenic who has confessed to a particularly grisly murder. But as evidence of a shocking series of murders begins to mount over the next seventy-two hours, Clevenger will be forced to confront his own most terrifying and powerful demons.

This book focused more on Frank's growth as a man and a pyschiatrist than the mystery. Through the mystery, Frank is able to realize a lot more about himself and why he choses the destructive path he is on. It was quite interesting to learn and see a lot about a guy who is a doctor working with the police that is constantly getting drunk and high on cocaine. It was a great look at all of the problems Frank has and how they can affect someone.

My reason for marking this book down was because I felt there was little work and discussion on the case in the story. While several murders occur, there is not a whole lot of investigation. This book was relatively short at just over 260 pages, and I felt that Mr. Ablow could have expanded more on the mystery while still allowing the reader see Frank grow as a person and a doctor. The killer was somewhat of a surprise and it was an enjoyable book. I will definitely plan on reading more of his books, particularly the ones on my TBR shelves.

Not sure what is up next. I start my student teaching tomorrow which is full time and I am already overwhelmed with the additional work that the college is assigning us as well. I hope to continue my reading pace, but lately it seems like I have been so tired and reading is taking a backseat. I hope it comes back though since reading is something I can "reward" myself with after the day. Somehow, I feel guilty laying around watching t.v. but not reading!

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day and Happy Reading!