Sunday, June 29, 2008

In the Shadow of the Arch by Robert J. Randisi

In my previous entry, I said I was going to read a book by S.K. McAllferty and I did start it but couldn't finish it. I read over 125 pages, but it was much more romance than suspense and I was not interested in it. I went to CVS yesterday with a gift card and picked up this book there. It was a new-to-me author and I decided to read it it instead. It was a fast read, and I wasn't disappointed by it. I give it a B.

From the back of the book:
Joe Keough, a former New York City police detective, moved to St. Louis to get away from the bloodshed of the Big Apple and start fresh. But five minutes into Keough's new life, four-year-old Brady Sanders walked into his St. Loius police station, leaving behind a trail of bloody footprints.
That was only the beginning of a twisted trail of darkness and fear, from Brady's missing parents and their blood soaked house, to the kidnapping of beautiful mothers and their small children. Were these hideous acts a series of unrelated coincidences, or was there a serial killer on the loose, stalking and killing the citizens of St. Louis? It wasn't long before Keough was forced to realize that death in the Midwest is no different from death in New York. Terror is terror, no matter where you live.

This was a good book and I was really interested in it. It was very easy to read and the characters were very likeable. I think this book could have been excellent if it was written more as a thriller instead of a police procedural but it wasn't bad. The violence and descriptions was done in a way that there wasn't any graphic details. I have a feeling that this was a part of a series though I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that the police didn't use any sort of technology to help them. I am not even talking about DNA or forensic evidence, but there wasn't any use of computers. The book was originally published in 1998, though I remember using the internet and computers ten years ago. Just something that annoyed me but not really a big deal.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I doubt I will be able to get another book in before the end of the month. Looking at my statistics, I have currently read 58 books this year. I am almost on track to meet my goal this year of 120 books. I hope I am able to reach it. Normally I don't work in the summer which would help me, but this summer I have two jobs. In three weeks, I start my second job and though it is Monday through Friday, I only work until noon. However, I will be teaching so there will be a bunch of planning and all of that. I do have two weeks off at the end of summer so I hope to get lots of reading in. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Clubbed to Death by Elaine Viets

Each summer, I always look forward to reading the newest Elaine Viets and Laura Levine books. Those are probably the last of the cozy mystery series I still faithfully read. Clubbed to Death was another good edition to the Dead-End Jobs series by Elaine Viets. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Helen Hawthorne’s latest dead-end job is in a country club’s complaint department, dealing with the gripes of the rich and spoiled. Then Rob, her deadbeat ex-husband, sails back into her life aboard the yacht of his new lady, Marcella—known as the Black Widow for her string of dead spouses. The next day Rob’s reported missing. If the Black Widow has such a murderous reputation, then why is Helen led from the club in handcuffs?When Marcella helps Helen get released, the two form an uneasy alliance to find out what really happened. Helen’s barely begun digging when a club patron is discovered beaten to death with a golf club —his membership permanently expired. Someone got more than a little teed off and it’s up to Helen to get to the truth—without getting clubbed herself

I love catching up with old characters and feel like I am getting to hang out with friends and find out what they have been up to lately. The mystery is subtle, but still gives the reader suspense. I also love how the new renters in 2C are always up to no good and always get a couple chuckles out of that. I wish there would have been more Margery and Peggy but the book was still a fun one to read.

Up next is Don't Tell a Soul by S.K. McAfflerty. I started reading it and am about 50 pages in and I am not sure if it is something I will stick with. I want to get one more book in this month at least, so I really need something that will keep me hooked. I hope everyone has a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Never Look Back by Robert Ross

Never Look Back was a different type of book from those that I normally read. I usually steer clear of paranormal books but not for any specific reason. Anyhow, this one slipped through and I didn't realize it was a paranormal until I started reading, but it ended up not really mattering. I enjoyed it, giving it a B.

From Amazon:
Karen Donovan no sooner marries bestselling novelist Philip kaye when he leaves on a book tour, abandoning her at his Provincetown mansion with his sullen teenage daughter. Black-clad Jessie Kaye isn''t exactly good company: when she''s not skulking around, she''s locked in her room writing in her journal, and her strangeness is a topic of local gossip. As autumn sets in, Karen befriends flamboyant local celebrity Bobbie Noble. But their plans to renovate Philip''s house are sidetracked when karen stumbles upon the diary of accused axe-murderess Lettie Hatch. It describes Lettie''s boorish father and young, ambitious stepmother--" both of whom would fall victim to a crazed killer. And the more Karen reads. the more she''s convinced that Jessie, with her increasingly bizarre behavior, is channeling something sinister. When Philip returns, he''s in no mood to entertain the theories that have grown into a nerve-jangling obsession for karen. Now, as a bitter winter binds the Cape in snow and ice, Karen feels a presence taking over. It knows what happened here nearly a hundred years before. And it won''t stop until history is rewritten--" in blood.

As I mentioned above, I am not sure why I don't like to read paranormals. In real life, I do believe in some of the paranormal but just can't suspend my logical side when it comes to reading for some reason. Anyways, this book kept me reading and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't stand one of the main characters. Karen, but in the end the author somewhat explains all of that. Last night, when I had about 200 pages left, I decided to pick it up and read for about a half hour and ended up finishing the book. I may just have to continue reading paranormals. One thing I did have to nitpick about is the couple of mistakes I found in the book. One of them was the description of Karen's hair. One time it was brown, another time it was red, and another time it was black. That really bothered me. I mean why couldn't the author keep track of her main character's hair color? Another mistake was the name of a city where the characters were. They were supposed to be in the Boston area, but the author names New Orleans. To me those were pretty big boo-boos, and seems kind of weak on the author and editors part.

Up next is a book by one of my favorite authors of cozy mystery series, Elaine Viets. It is the latest in the Dead End Job series and is called Clubbed to Death. I look forward to the release each year. I absolutely love Florida and Fort Laurderdale is one of my favorite spots in Florida. I can relate to a lot of the places she describes and her sense of humor is wonderful. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, with taking 30 plus kids to a field trip to the zoo tomorrow. I am exhausted right now, but do want to get some reading in tonight. I am crossing my fingers. Happy Reading!

Friday, June 20, 2008

American Star by Jackie Collins

I always enjoy Jackie Collins' novels, especially in the summer. They are always nice and easy reads that are perfect after a heavy suspense read. This one was no exception and I rate it a B.

Back of the book:
Nick Angel, dark, brooding, hypnotic, the cult superstar of the silver screen with the five o'clock shdaow and mesmerizing emerald eyes... Lauren Roberts, The Face of the Decade, who made modeling history with her air of mystery, elegance, and reserve...
They were two Kansas kids with memories to burn and ambition to slake, far afield from the reckless New Year's Eve that shattered their lives, driving them first to desperation, then to fame and fortune- worlds apart, but still yearning for each other...
Nick is burned out and used up, drowning in vodka, bimbos and cheap thrills. Anything to forget Lauren, who's rocketing to fame while her heart is starving...
But they meet by chance at a lavish Hollywood party, and explosive passions ignite. Two lost lovers, unwitting targets of Nick's venegeful Hollywood wife, who is primed with lethal secrets and ready to destroy them both...

This was an easy read, but unfortunely, I haven't had much time to read. This new job is a lot of work and I come home beat. It is fun, but playing with kids all day in active games is tiring. Anyways, this book was good but a big one, coming in at almost 700 pages. This is a love story, though you really do get to really know the characters and I enjoy that. I become emotionally involved with the characters and want to continue learning about their lives. I guess you could consider Jackie Collins books a soap opera in a novel format. I have plenty more of her books on my shelves and I am sure I will be reading more as the summer continues.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I do have a book in from the library that I need to pick up tomorrow, but I feel like reading some more tonight so I will probably pick something off of my shelves. I got all of my laundry and cleaning done today, so this weekend I plan on relaxing and reading and enjoying the lovely weekend. I think it is supposed to finally stay warm after days in the 60s, so that will be nice. Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Cold Dark Place by Gregg Olsen

I decided to read A Cold Dark Place after not being able to find Mr. Olsen's previous book that was being read for my Shelfari group. It was going to be the read for the early part of June, but I couldn't find it at the store. I was reading great reviews about it, so I decided to read the one Gregg Olsen book I did have. It was a good read and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
The Seeds Of Evil...
In a secluded farm house in the Pacific Northwest, a family has been slaughtered--and a teenage son has disappeared. Single mother and cop, Emily Kenyon spearheads a dark hunt for a killer. But Emily's teenage daughter Jenna is one step ahead of her...
Are Planted In...
Jenna knows the boy suspected of murdering his family and wants to help him--perhaps too much. Then within days of the first murder, another family is butchered, this time in Iowa. And on the heels of this brutal slaying, another follows in Salt Lake City. Eerie similarities link the crime scenes. But an even darker connection threatens to claim even more victims...
A Cold Dark Place
As Emily fits the puzzle pieces together, she realizes the danger surrounding her daughter is worse than she'd imagined. Now in a desperate race to save Jenna, Emily must match wits with the most cunning, diabolical killer she's faced yet in her career--a killer who's just placed her and her daughter at the top of his list...

I have to admit that I really didn't care all that much for the main character, Emily. She really grated on my nerves. I also found a couple of mistakes in the book, especially concerning the timeline of things, and that really bothered me. I do not actively search for mistakes, so when I do run across them, it must be pretty bad. However, with all of that being said, it was a good suspense book and I liked the ending a lot. It seems to me that lately I have been finding great books with wonderful endings. I guess I have been lucky. I probably will continue to check out more of Mr. Olsen's books in the future.

I am not sure what book I am going to read next. Today has been such a wonderful day with absolutlely gorgeous weather, so I think I will pick up a Jackie Collins book. Her books always seem to scream summer to me, so it seems like a fitting choice. Tomorrow I am going to the Tiger's game with my dad, and hopefully the storms we are supposed to get will hold off until the game is over. I hope everyone else is having a relaxing weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lie to Me by David Martin

I hit up my local library to get another book by David Martin after enjoying his previous book so much. This one was not a disappointment, and I think I liked it even better than the one before. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
A madman serial killer enters the house of a wealthy entrepeneur and his beautiful young wife and takes them hostage. The following morning the rich man is dead, the killer is on the run and - although we as readers know otherwise - the wife states that her husband's dead was a suicide!
What really happened that night? A worn out police detective is brought in and he spends the rest of the book - as does the reader - trying to solve the mystery.

This was a wonderfully written suspense. The pages kept turning and I even admit to getting a few chills and shivers while reading this. I think I may definitely have to get more by this author and I believe that a few of the librarys in my county have some more. David Martin knows how to write a wonderful suspense even though the reader knows who the bad guy is. I couldn't recommend this higher to someone that loves a good mystery, though I would have to assume it may be hard to get their hands on because it was written and published in 1991.

Well, I got my job. It doesn't start until July 21, so I am keeping my yucky job until then. This way, I will have two more things to put on my resume, so maybe my job search will be a bit brighter. Things that aren't bright, however, is my house. We lost power again today when it is a gorgeous, sunny, breezeless day. Our area was really hit hard on Sunday and over 200,000 people are still without power, so I doubt ours will be back anytime soon. When I called the power company, they said not until Friday. This happens every year and is really annoying. So right now I am at my mom's typing this and charging my cell phone so I can use it as an alarm clock. It is really frustrating especially since I had just gotten home from the grocery store about 20 minutes before it went out. Oh well, I guess I can get in a lot of reading! I hope everyone else is having a fantastic week and Happy Reading!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Small Favors by Patricia Wallace

Yet again, this another old book from the thrift store. This book was published in 1988 and surprisingly, it didn't really impact the book that much. It was a fast, easy read though it wasn't really anything spectacular. I will give it a B-.

Back cover:
Hillary and Richard Walker seemed to have it all. Plenty of money. All the right connections. A happy marriage. They were the ideal California couple. Until one day Hilary vanished without a trace...
Private Investigator Sydney Bryant had tracked down more than her share of missing spouses. Most of the time they ran away of their own volition. But the case of Hilary Walker just didn't add up. And it was beginning to look like 2 minus 1 equalled the perfect murder. One without a body. And without a murderer.

This book wasn't all that suspensful. It was an easy read, and it kept the pages turning. I finished this book in about two hours, and while I am not sorry that I read it, it probably will not stay with me for long. I really liked the main character, Sydney though, and this was a part of a series. I didn't feel like I missed much, which is always a plus. I don't have much to say about this book, it was just ok. It definitely read more like a cozy mystery, and not a suspense book like I thought it may be.

Up next is another book by David Martin. I got it from the library and plan on starting it tomorrow. Now it is time for bed. I have a job interview tomorrow for a summer school teaching position and am really excited to get it. I would have my own classroom, even if it is only for a month, and I have been waiting for this forever. Plus, I will make more money from my other job I have but I am not getting my hopes up. It is through one of the district's I sub for, so I think that may be a plus. It is for middle school math which I would love to teach. Since the interview isn't until the afternoon, I will need a good book to distract me so I don't get nervous. Please send good thoughts my way! Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Flashpoint by Lynn S. Hightower

Flashpoint was another library book sale that I got last month. I started reading it Friday and we then lost power, so I got a ton of reading done Friday night and then again today when we had a big storm. The book was a good suspense, and I enjoyed it. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Sonora Blair, a Cincinnati homicide detective and single mother of two, is summoned in the middle of the night to the scene of a particularly gruesome murder. There, a naked, hideously burned young man is handcuffed to the wheel of his car. A deathbed interrogation reveals the perpetrator to be a woman, and Sonora soon learns that the murderess has a history of torching her victims. After a series of suspenseful developments, it soon becomes painfully evident that the killer is watching Sonora's every move and that the detective and those she loves are potential targets. To anticipate the next maneuver and to catch this twisted sociopath takes all of Sonora's tough police experience and nerve.

I wasn't aware that this book was part of a series, but it didn't really bother me. There wasn't a ton of references to things that happened in previous books so it really didn't bother me. However, I may just check out books further along in the series if I happen to come across any. Like in many of the books I have been reading lately, the reader does discover whodunit fairly early on but it doesn't take anything away from the suspense. This book kept me reading when I had plenty of other things to do and even when I was gone all day yesterday, my mind wasn't far from the book. I really enjoyed it a lot and I am glad. I kind of want to keep seeing what is going to happen in the series so that is always a good sense that I enjoyed the book. I would love to hear from anyone that has read any of the author's other books, though I did notice on Amazon that they are about 10 years old, but you never know. Well I am off, going to check my email and read all of my blogs since I have been offline all weekend. Then I am going to jump right into another book. Happy Reading!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tap, Tap by David Martin

Tap, Tap was another book I got from the thrift store. I love this store, and as a matter of fact, I got ten books there today for $2.00. I started reading this book on Tuesday, but between the games and celebrations, I just finished it today. This was truly an odd, freaky book but I enjoyed it. I give it a B+.

What if your best friend started killing your worst enemies? For Roscoe Bird, this nightmare becomes reality when an old childhood friend comes knocking at his door.
Peter Tummelier talks about past hurts and old enemies as if time has stood still. But when bodies start turning up, murdered in horrifying ways, suspicion is placed on Roscoe. And Roscoe knows the one person- the only person- who could have committed these deeds.
But the question is why? How can he reach into the twisted depths of Peter's mind to understand his diabolical motives? And how can Roscoe clear his name as the prime suspect of the murders? But most of all, how can Roscoe avoid becoming Peter's next victim... the victim Peter has been waiting for...

This book had bits of the supernatural, but they seemed to be explained in real life terms. The reader always knows who the bad guys were, but the book still was chilling and had me turning the pages when I was reading it. There were plenty of twists and turns and the premise was very frightening. This book is older, being written in 1994 or so, but it really doesn't take anything away from the story. It was just a really good read and the ending was even more chilling. I am definitely planning on getting more of this author's back list from the library.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. Barbara sent me my Amazon gc from our friendly wager on the playoffs so I have some shopping to do. This weekend is promising to be a hot one, so I see myself getting a lot of reading done. It is currently 93 degrees and we are under a tornado watch. I think I am going to start my cleaning right now and my laundry so I can just relax. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Welcome Home

A picture says a thousand words:

Welcome home Stanley!!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Madman's Diary by Thom Racina

The Madman's Diary is another older book that I picked up from the used book store. The blurb on the back of the book sounded very interesting and I decided to pick it up off of the shelves finally. The writing was not that well done, but the story was pretty good. I ended up giving it a B.

Palms Springs interior designer Judy Sussman is shocked by the brutal murder of a business associate. Her seemingly charmed life has had its share of ups and downs- including the suicide of a former boyfriend and the disapperance of another.
Besides Judy, there is another link in this chain of tragedies. A man whose obsession for her will never end until she finally sees the spirit she has awakened in him. The one that drives him to madness. The one that drives him to kill- and kill again...

This book was over 400 pages, but I really felt like I didn't get to know the characters that well. As a matter of fact, I couldn't stand the main character, Judy. There were many suspects as to who was killing people for her and she just seemed to play it off like of course there are people who obsess with me, I am perfect. She just seemed really immature, especially for a woman who is supposed to be in her mid-30s. There were also a TON of typos, which I know is not the author's fault, though they really bothered me. I have been noticing that a lot lately in the older books I have been reading. The author did do one thing that I caught (the power was out yet she was using her dryer) and I know it isn't a big deal but it kind of bothered me. The ending was great though, and totally came out of left field. I know I have another book by the author, so I will read him again and hope that it was just one character who I didn't enjoy.

I am not sure what is up next, though I do know that tonight I will be downtown cheering the Red Wings to their 4th Stanley Cup win in 11 years. Tomorrow I will be able to pick out the books that I will get with my Amazon gift certificate because of the win. Let's Go Red Wings!!!!!!

Happy Reading!