Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock

I enjoyed Ms. Flock's other book I read, Me and Emma, so when I saw some of the reviews for Sleepwalking in Daylight, I knew it was something I would want to read. I placed it on hold and picked up this weekend from the library. I have mixed feelings on this book and am not sure what I want to rate it, but I think for now I will give it a B+.

Back cover:
Once defined by her career and independence, stay-at-home mom Samantha Friedman realizes her days have been reduced to errands, car pools, and suburban gossip. It's a role she always assumed she wanted to play, but now Sam has a nagging awarenessthat this may be all there is. Today she deals with a husband who shows up for dinner but is too preoccupied for coversation, and a daughter swathed in black clothing and Goth makeup who won't talk at all.

Believing she's an adopted mistake, seventeen-year-old Cammy has fallen into sex and drugs, and pours herself into a journal filled with poetry and pain. On parallel paths, mother and daughter indulge in desperate, furtive escapism- for Sam, a burgeoning relationship with her supposed soul mate, fueled by clandestine coffee dates and the desire to feel something; for Cammy, a secretive search for her birth mother punctuated by pills, pot and the need to feel absolutely nothing.

This book touched on so many different emotions for me. The story was beautifully written and was raw... and my insides were just turning and twisting when I read this. It was gripping and I had a hard time putting the book down. I had a hard time feeling sorry for Sam and felt like she was incredibly selfish. All she does in complain and whine about her life and how she hates it. I felt like screaming at her at times and saying now is not the time to be selfish... you are losing your daughter and you have two 8 year old twins to worry about. Sam also feels like if she gets a divorce, the kids will be fine. I wanted to scream NO THEY WON'T!!! My parents got divorced right after I got married and it was hard on me, nevermind if I had been a little kid. I just wish parents wouldn't be so blase about divorce and the impact it has on kids. Anyways... it was a good book with a sad but realistic ending that I have come to expect from Elizabeth Flock. Grab the box of Kleenex when you read it though...

Up next is the latest Spellman Files book by Lisa Lutz. I just picked it up from the library and am anxious to jump right back in to the crazy Spellman family. After that it will be a Lisa Jackson novel for the beginning of the read-a-thon. Happy Reading everyone!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paying the Piper by Simon Wood

Paying the Piper is a book I have had on my bookshelves for far too long and last time I was looking for something to read, I decided to rectify that. I was hoping to fit a couple of books in this weekend, but alas, it was not meant to be. Paying the Piper went a bit slow for me and I had a hard time picking it up when I had time to read. I rate it a B-.

Back cover:
He was known as the Piper- a coldhearted kidnapper who terrified the city. Crime reporter Scott Fleetwood built his career on the Piper. The kidnapper even taunted the FBI through Scott's column. But Scott had been duped. The person he'd been speaking to wasn't really the Piper. By the time the FBI exposed the hoaxer, time ran out... and the real Piper killed the child. Then he vanished. But now he's back, with very specific targets in mind- Scott's children.

Part of this book was a bit too unbelievable for me. Scott's pure involvement throughout the whole case is so far-fetched, though I do understand that this is a work of fiction, but at times it was too much. Other times I felt like the action was a bit predictible and I thought I had it all figured out a couple of times. There were a few red herrings thrown in that had me doubting myself, but it turns out in the end that I was correct. I also felt like a few things were not fully fleshed out and I was left scratching my head. Overall, it was a good read but I won't be running out looking for the next book by Mr. Wood.

Up next is Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock. I love her books and picked this one up on Friday. I want to try and get this one in before the end of the month and I know there is a long wait list for this, so I always like to get to popular books fast. I had a bunch of plans to get all of my running around done on Friday so I could have the weekend free to myself and reading, but my car had other plans. As I was making my first stop, my car decided to not start. I drive a new car with less than 10,000 miles on it, so I was a bit upset. Turns out it was something with the anti-theft system not recgonizing my key, but by the time I got my car back it already the evening so errands were run yesterday. It is back to the grind of work tomorrow though only two more weeks until Spring Break! I have been running a fever for the past two days, so hopefully it isn't anything serious. I also have the latest Spellman book by Lisa Lutz waiting for me at the library and hopefully I will be able to get it tomorrow. Plus April is right around the corner and that means the start of the Lisa Jackson read-a-thon, so I anticipate a lot of great reading! Well I am off... I hope to get a few chapters of Elizabeth Flock's latest in before bedtime! Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Other Twin by Hunter Morgan

I have several books by Hunter Morgan and even though they are all unread, I bought this one at Borders earlier this month when I had a gift card. I decided to grab this one off of the shelves because the back cover sounded so intriguing. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed, but I still give it a B.

Back cover:
They called them the "Twin Murders, the horrific work of Charles Eshey, a serial killer who preyed on, kidnapped, and murdered one twin, leaving the other alone and haunted. Sydney MacGregor remembers the time all too well. It was her testimony that put Eshey behind bars for life. But that was twenty years ago, and Sydney has managed to go on with her life, raising her own daughter. Then the killings start again. Someone is targeting the twins who survived. One by one, their children have disappeared. Now, to protect her daughter, Sydney will delve into the twisted mind of a psychopath, matching wits with the man who killed her own twin. It's a dangerous game tha could uncover the truth... and leave her family vulnerable to a serial killer more cunning than she could ever imagine...

I had a couple of beefs with this book. One of them was the editing... there were several spots were punctuation marks were missing or added where they were not necessary. That kind of messed up my reading and threw things off a bit.Then, right in the blurb it says that the killing took place twenty years ago, and in the book it mentions that Sydney was 12 years old and is now 40. Now I did get my degree in math, but I am pretty sure that someone doesn't need one to see that the math doesn't jive. Another problem I had was there wasn't much suspense... most of the book was about the possibility that the killer was back. There was never any proof that the missing kids where dead, and even at the end of the story there wasn't a real conclusion. The last 40 pages had all of the suspense, though it was done well. I was able to figure out who the killer was due to some cleverly placed clues, which I really appreciated and enjoyed. All in all, it was an enjoyable read but not something I would tell everyone to run out and buy right this minute.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I did pick up another book from the library today, but it is by Lisa Jackson so I am going to save it for the Lisa Jackson read-a-thon starting in April. The next book is going to be one of mine, so hopefully it will be a great one. I am off for the next couple of days, with just tutoring appointments here and there, so I hope to get a lot of good reading in! Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pyschopath by Keith Ablow

I always enjoy Mr. Ablow's books, especially because they are written from a psychitrist's point of view. While I tried getting into Sinners and Saints and it just didn't grab me at the time, I picked up Pyschopath from the TBR shelves. It was a good read, and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Former psychiatrist, Frank Clevenger, is tapped by the FBI to catch an elusive murderer known as the "Highway Killer", who has left twelve bodies strewn across twelve states. Clevenger reluctantly accepts the case, but what he and authorities cannot know is that the Highway Killer isn't just a serial killer- who is also a psychiatrist, whose brillance is as a gifted doctor is matched only by his precision as a killer. When he writes to a national newspaper challenging Clevenger to cure him through an exchange of open letters, a gripping public therapy unfolds. But as the Highway Killer confronts the demons that inhabit his own tortured mind, his brutality climbs to new heights. Will Clevenger be able to exorcise those demons before they spin completely out of control?

Pyschopath started off really strong, but I felt like it petered out towards the end. The reader starts out knowing who the Highway Killer is, but that doesn't take away from any of the suspense of the book. There are a lot of subplots going on in the story, but it just adds to the mystery and thrills building. I was upset to find that I have read yet another book out of order in a series, but I have no one to blame myself for that. I need to start researching that better before I read a book to make sure. However, towards the end of the book it seemed like the author said "Oops, we need to wrap this up... word count is getting high". Things were just wrapped up a bit to neatly and but without some things completely fleshed out. I am sure part of that is because it is a series, but I though Mr. Ablow could have done a better job. I will, however, be reading more in this series.

The next book is one I started today at lunch. I am only about 40 pages in, but it promises to be good. It is called The Other Twin and is by Hunter Morgan. The premise is intriguing... a serial killer who abducted one twin and murdered them, but left the other twin behind. Now someone is coming back and abducting the daughters of the twins left behind. I hope to get some good reading in tonight as my tutoring for tonight was cancelled. Happy Reading everyone !

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke

The last time I was out browsing at the library, I ran across Ms. Burke's latest novel in her Ellie Hatcher series. I read the first one last year some time, and remembering enjoying it but not loving it. Angel's Tip sounded reallly interesting, so I decided to pick it up and give it a try. Angel's Tip was an enjoyable read, though nothing I was over the moon about. I give it a B.

From Amazon:
In a city full of victims . . . it's hard to choose just one.
Fresh-faced Indiana college student Chelsea Hart is so excited to spend the final hours of her spring break in the VIP room of an elite New York City club that she remains behind when her girlfriends call it a night. The next morning, as her concerned friends anxiously pace their hotel lobby, joggers find Chelsea's body in East River Park, her wavy blond hair brutally hacked off.
NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher catches the case and homes in on the group of privileged men who were last seen plying Chelsea with free-flowing alcohol. But before she can even gather the preliminary evidence, the gruesome murder is grabbing headlines and drawing unwanted media attention to the department. So when Ellie builds a tight case against Jake Myers, a young hedge fund manager, the department brass and the district attorney's office are elated: the case will soon be cleared, the media will tout the department's quick work, and Ellie will be a dream witness at the trial against Myers.
But Ellie has her doubts. Chelsea's murder is eerily similar to three other deaths that occurred nearly a decade ago: the victims were young, female, and in each case, the killer had taken her hair as a souvenir.
Ellie's investigation pulls her into a late-night world of exclusive clubs, conspicuous wealth, and hedonistic consumption. And her search for the truth not only pits her against her fellow cops but also places her under the watchful eye of a psychopath eager to add the prideful young female detective to his list.

I thought I had this book all figured out. About halfway through, I was positive I knew who the killer was and why he was doing the things he was. Even with only about 15 pages left, I was still sure I knew who the killer was even though it was pretty apparent that he couldn't be the one committing the crimes. I enjoyed the fact that I was wrong... it added to the mystery and I was pleasantly surprised that there were so many red herrings thrown in. Nowadays, it seems like the more mystery books I read, the less I am being "mystified". Ellie is a likeable character and at times I was cheering for her to show up all of the guys who thought that she wouldn't make a great detective, just because she was a girl. However, this book had more "cozy mystery" aspects than "thriller" aspects, and I was a bit disappointed. All around a good read, just nothing that will stick with me for the long term.

Up next is the last library book I have checked out for right now and it is one that I have looked at several times before. It is called Sinners and Saints and is by Eileen Dreyer. I was positive I owned the book but checked it out anyways, and was surprised to see when I got home that I didn't own it. The book just looks really, really familar to me so I have probably picked it up a dozen times at the bookstore but just never bought it for some reason. I hope that isn't a clue about how the book will be. Well, I am off to finish a bit of work and then plan on finishing the word day reading! Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lisa Jackson Read-a-Thon

I am a fan of Lisa Jackson and the wonderful J. Kaye is hosting the Lisa Jackson Read-a-Thon. I have quite a few of Ms. Jackson's books in the ever growing TBR shelves, so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to clear some of them off of the stacks. You can read all of the details about this wonderful idea here!

I am only going to list the books I own by Ms. Jackson that I would like to get read. This may not be the only books I read, as I may pick up more from the library as quite a few of her books are parts of a series and I am slightly OCD about reading books in order in a series. Here is my list:

The Morning After
Hot Blooded
Cold Blooded
Fatal Burn
Absolute Power
Twice Kissed
Wicked Game (co-authored with sister Nancy Bush)
Lost Souls

Head over to J. Kayes to sign up for this great read-a-thon!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Third Degree by Greg Iles

I have been a fan of Greg Iles since I first read him late last year. When I went to the library to pick up another book on hold, I saw this one and remembered I had started to listen to this on audio last year but for some reason didn't finish it. I grabbed it and decided to read it after finishing Plum Spooky. I raced through it and couldn't put it down. I give Third Degree an A-.

From Amazon:
Sometimes the gravest dangers -- and the darkest souls -- live right beside us....
In the span of twenty-four hours, every-thing Laurel Shields believes about her life and her marriage to a prominent doctor will be shattered -- if she survives a terrifying ordeal. The day begins with the jarring discovery that, soon after ending an affair, Laurel is pregnant. But when she returns home to find her husband ashen, unkempt, and on the brink of violence, a nightmare quickly unfolds. In the heart of an idyllic Mississippi town, behind the walls of her perfect house, Laurel finds herself locked in a volatile standoff with a husband she barely recognizes. Confronted with evidence of her betrayal, she must tread a deadly path between truth and deception while a ring of armed police prepares a dangerous rescue. But Laurel's greatest fear -- and her only hope -- lies with her former lover, a brave man whom fate has granted the power to save both Laurel and her children -- if she can protect his identity long enough....

Third Degree takes place in the span of one day and the thrills never stop. Right from the opening chapter when Laurel discovers that she is pregnant the reader is hooked and can't stop turning the pages. Just when you think you have something figured out, Mr. Iles takes you on a wild turn and you are thrown through another loop. Even when I thought the book was over and the final pages were wrapping things up, another surprise was thrown my way. I will definitely be checking out more of Mr. Iles' books and if you haven't read one of them yet, run to your nearest bookstore or library and pick one of them up.

I am going to have cut this short. I just heard some terrible news about a horrible accident that killed four local teens. Apparently, a woman in her 40s decided that her right to drink and drive was more important than that of everyone else's right and slammed into a stopped car carrying 4 teenagers going to the mall. She killed all four of them and she walked away without a scratch, except for a hangover from hell since she was more than three times over the legal limit. I am truly sickened by this and emotional, so I am going to say Happy Reading.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

I always enjoy the Stephanie Plum books, but I refuse to pay for them. $28.00 for something that takes me a couple of hours to read is not worth it, especially when I don't reread them. So after waiting awhile for the book to come in from the library, I finally picked it up yesterday and jumped right in. It was a fun book, and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey. According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys. Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He’s chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he’s chosen the Barrens as his new playground. Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He’s now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn’t made it out of the boys’ department at Macy’s. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel. Diesel pops in and out of Plum’s life like birthday cake – delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He’s an ├╝ber bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He’s after Grimoire, and now he’s also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn’t mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs. Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course . . . monkeys.

My favorite character, Grandma Mazur only makes a small apperance in this book, but there is plenty of Lula and hot guys all over. Stephanie is up to all of her old tricks and has a fun, cute monkey along for the ride. I am always amazed at the trouble Stephanie gets into and love the comments her mom makes about her career. In this book, Mrs. Plum asks why Stephanie can't have a nice job at the bank like someone's daughter and that just totally seems like something a mother would say. There were plenty of smiles and chuckles while reading this book and it was the perfect one to read between tutoring jobs. I only wish for more Morelli since I seriously love him and wish Stephanie would just choose him. I guess the Plum books wouldn't be the same if Stephanie did choose, and I have to admit that it probably is a bit fun to "be" Stephanie and have all of these men chasing after her and wanting to protect her. With all of that being said, I do look forward to "Finger Licking Fifteen" being released in June and plan on placing my hold as soon as it is released in my library's catalogue.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have three more library books to choose from, but I may just choose one of my own. Since I am on a reading streak, I think I can sneak in one of my own and not hold up the library books for too long. Right now is time for bed, right after I get the last load of laundry out and pick out my clothes for tomorrow. I don't have a job yet, but I am sure I will get a lovely wake up call around 5:3o a.m. to come in. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Speaking in Tongues by Jeffrey Deaver

This was my first Jeffrey Deaver book, though I have read and heard quite about him. I am pretty sure he writes a series as well, but this was a stand alone book. I have several of his books and decided it was time to start reading some of them. Speaking in Tongues was a great book and I enjoyed it. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Aaron Matthews is a man with a gift: he can talk anyone into doing almost anything. As a psychologist he used that talent to help people. Now he's using it against one man for revenge. With former trial lawyer Tate Collier as his target, the brilliant, ruthless Matthews knows the easiest way to destroy his adversary is to strike at the point of least resistance, which for Collier is his teenage daughter.

At first I wasn't sure how this book was going to turn out, because as soon as the book started the kidnapping took place and I was afraid that there wouldn't be enough buildup in the book. I turned out to be wrong, though, because the suspense continued to build as the pages continued to turn. I read it very quickly and loved all of the characters... especially the villian, Aaron Matthews. He was very spooky and creepy and it was amazing how many people he was able to trick. It also creeped me out that he was a psychologist and was able to exploit people's deepest and darkest fears for his own benefits. It makes me wonder about how we exactly open up to and how vulenerable we can be. I will definitely be reading more of Mr. Deaver's books and am going to look in to his series as well. I want to make sure that I read them in order, so I believe I have a little research ahead in my future.

I am on a roll this month as far as my reading. Speaking In Tongues in my 7th book this month and I just picked up three books from the library today. I finally got in the latest Stephanie Plum between the numbers book, Plum Spooky, and plan on starting it tonight. I have a rare night off with nothing to do tonight, and I am looking forward to curling up with a good, enjoyable book. This series sometimes feels like it is losing steam, but it always leaves a smile on my face and is enjoyable. I took a long nap this afternoon which was wonderful but I suspect it will leave me up later than usual tonight. Good thing I have a lot of books to keep me company! Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where Are You Now by Mary Higgins Clark

I always enjoy read Ms. Clark's books as they are a quick read and entertaining. While searching my library's database, I noticed that there were several of Ms. Clark's newer books that I had missed. I headed over there and picked up Where Are You Now, and true to form read it very quickly. It was a pleasant read and I rate it a B.

From Amazon:
It has been ten years since twenty-one-year-old Charles MacKenzie Jr. ("Mack") went missing. A Columbia University senior, about to graduate and already accepted at Duke University Law School, he walked out of his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side without a word to his college roommates and has never been seen again. However, he does make one ritual phone call to his mother every year: on Mother's Day. Each time, he assures her he is fine, refuses to answer her frantic questions, then hangs up. Even the death of his father, a corporate lawyer, in the tragedy of 9/11 does not bring him home or break the pattern of his calls.
Mack's sister, Carolyn, is now twenty-six, a law school graduate, and has just finished her clerkship for a civil court judge in Manhattan. She has endured two family tragedies, yet she realizes that she will never be able to have closure and get on with her life until she finds her brother. She resolves to discover what happened to Mack and why he has found it necessary to hide from them. So this year when Mack makes his annual Mother's Day call, Carolyn interrupts to announce her intention to track him down, no matter what it takes. The next morning after Mass, her uncle, Monsignor Devon MacKenzie, receives a scrawled message left in the collection basket: "Uncle Devon, tell Carolyn she must not look for me."
Mack's cryptic warning does nothing to deter his sister from taking up the search, despite the angry reaction of her mother, Olivia, and the polite disapproval of Elliott Wallace, Carolyn's honorary uncle, who is clearly in love with Olivia.
Carolyn's pursuit of the truth about Mack's disappearance swiftly plunges her into a world of unexpected danger and unanswered questions. What is the secret that Gus and Lil Kramer, the superintendents of the building in which Mack was living, have to hide? What do Mack's old roommates, the charismatic club owner Nick DeMarco and the cold and wealthy real estate tycoon Bruce Galbraith, know about Mack's disappearance? Is Nick connected to the disappearance of Leesey Andrews, who had last been seen in his trendy club? Can the police possibly believe that Mack is not only alive, but a serial killer, a shadowy predator of young women? Was Mack also guilty of the brutal murder of his drama teacher and the theft of his taped sessions with her?
Carolyn's passionate search for the truth about her brother -- and for her brother himself -- leads her into a deadly confrontation with someone close to her whose secret he cannot allow her to reveal.

Where Are You Now is classic Mary Higgins Clark. I always enjoy books set in NYC and most of hers are. I was intrigued by the fact that Carolyn's father died on 9/11 and was wondering if that may play some role in the story though it did not. I also enjoy reading about the wealthy and Ms. Clark always gives her characters the impression that while they may be better off financially than most, they are not better people because of it. I did think that some of these characters came across a bit flat, though, and did not really come to care about any of them or what happened. Though Carolyn is the main character, I felt like I reall did not know much about her. I also have to say that I had a good part of the mystery figured out, but that is because I feel like I know Ms. Clark's formula and she seems to not stray from it too much. I think this may be the reason why I haven't picked up some of Ms. Clark's most recent novels. That being said, I am not sorry I read this book, it just isn't one that will be near the top of any of my lists.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have a couple of library books to read, but I think I am going to grab one off of my shelves. I hope everyone is having a great day and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead of Winter by P.J. Parrish

I decided to read Dead of Winter by P.J. Parrish for several different reasons, one of them being because the book is set in Michigan and I always enjoy reading books set in my home state. The other reason why I decided to read it is for the name... it seems like I am stick in the dead of winter and that not spring is never going to arrive. We had a beautiful day on Friday, only to be followed by crappy, cold, and rainy weather and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 20s. Anyways, I have a couple of Mr. Parrish's books and decided it is time to start tackling some of these authors that I have a ton of their books. This was a good book and a fast read, and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
P.J. Parrish's stunning debut novel Dark of the Moon offered a stylish blend of suspense, knife-edge tension, and a complex and intriguing hero. Now, in "Dead of Winter", Parrish brings back police detective Louis Kincaid, as he investigates a series of gruesome murders...and is drawn into the nightmare mind of a killer. In the quaint tourist town of Loon Lake, Michigan, a killer is taking his vengeance. One by one, the bodies are found, brutally executed, with mysteriously coded death cards placed beside each corpse -- the signature of a psychopath. And the only sound louder than doors and windows being locked against evil is the sound of hearts beating in terror. Detective Louis Kincaid had come north looking for a refuge, a place to forget the horrors of his past. But now he's landed in the middle of an investigation that's more than a mystery. It's a warning of bad things to come...of a terrifying journey through a town's fiercely protected heart of darkness...and into the dangerous world of a madman.

At times, the book's main character Louis Kincaid irritated me a little, but the book really redeemed itself in the end. The book is set in the early 1980s and I thought that it may bother me a bit, but it really didn't. It was refreshing to see a case solved with some old fashioned police work without a bunch of forensics once in awhile. The suspense was done well in the end and there were a few curveballs thrown at me that had me surprised. The author does a great job of keeping the reader turning the pages and that is always a great thing. The book also has short chapters, which I think is perfect for me because sometimes I only have a few minutes to sneak in some pages here and there between my breaks at work and I hate leaving off in the middle of a chapter. I will be reading more Louis Kincaid books, as I am very curious to see where future books take him, though I hope he stays in Michigan.

Up next is a Mary Higgins Clark book titled Where Are You Now. Ms. Clark's books are always a quick, pleasant read and right now I am so busy that it just seems like a perfect fit. I am not feeling too well right now, as I just stopped taking some medicine that I have been on for about 2 years and I think I am having some side effects. I am sure I am not making too much sense and feel like I am rambling quite a bit, so I am going to sign off right now with a Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Little Town Lies by Anne Strieber

Last night I was looking at my TBR books, trying to decide what to read next. My DH came downstairs wondering what I was doing and when I told him, he asked if he could pick the next one. I couldn't decide, so I told him to go ahead. He selected Little Town Lies and it sounded good, so I gave it a shot. It was a disappointment, however, and I can only rate it a C.

From Amazon:
Under the surface of small town Texas are dark undercurrents of suffering and depravity: alcoholism, domestic violence, child abuse, arson, animal mutilations -- and brutal, obscene murder.Social worker Sally Hopkins knows that it's only a matter of time before the perpetrator becomes a sexual predator, a serial killer with a twisted mind. Sally's burnt out on Houston's big city crime, just shy of forty, and she doesn't want to be involved -- but no one else in her East Texas hometown of Maryvale has the training to follow the tell-tale clues left at each scene.And the handsome young state trooper who's also been called in to help is helping Sally. He revitalizes her, rekindles her long-buried passion for life -- and together they break through the walls of secrets and lies, to stop the killer before he strikes again.

I thought that this book would be a great quick read, and while it was quick, it wasn't great. First of all, it was so unbelievable. Sally is a social worker who decides it is time to head home and immediately gets sucked up in animal torture cases. Now I am a huge animal lover and the mere thought of torturing an animal is disgusting, but the stress and importance Sally puts on this case is somewhat laughable. She actually says at one point that some of the officers shouldn't stop and eat dinner because this case needs to be solved now. Then about a third of the way through the book, Sally becomes appointed as the sheriff after the old one decides to retire. I am so sure... someone with absolutely no criminal justice background becomes a sheriff of a county. That, along with other things in the book, just made it too difficult to suspend belief and enjoy the book. I also found that there was way too many exclaimination marks and short sentences, and the timeline did not flow correctly. I blame part of this on the editor though, as I caught a lot of mistakes which tends to irritate me. With all of that being said, I did enjoy reading about a small town in Texas and the mystery was a good idea, but it could have been done much better.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have a library book checked out but am really not in the mood to read it. I am very tired right now and have a tutoring appointement tomorrow morning at 10:00 along with my online job, so I think I will just wait until tomorrow to pick out my next read. Daylight Savings Time is also going to mess up my inner clock as well, and I really wish I was lucky enough to live in onoe of the two states where they do not participate in this silly event. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Safer by Sean Doolittle

I heard about Safer through Romantic Times magazine and have since seen it reviewed on several blogs. This sounded like something right up my alley... nice, safe, suburban life turned completely upside down and having you look twice at all of your neighbors. I was right and loved this book, and I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
For Paul Callaway and his wife, Sara, moving from the East Coast to a quiet midwestern town was a major adjustment. But right from the start, Paul has tried to fit in. He’s played golf with the guys. He’s even joined the Neighborhood Patrol, grabbing a flashlight and a walkie-talkie to make these neatly tended streets even safer. Then Paul makes one mistake—and now they want him gone. But nothing could have prepared Paul and Sara for the quarrel that has erupted between Paul and a neighbor—the self-appointed leader of the Neighborhood Patrol. Or for the next outrage, as police arrest Paul for a sordid crime he didn’t commit. Suddenly Paul’s life, university career, and marriage are at risk, as he finds himself locked in a desperate fight with an angry man, a dark conspiracy, and a secret that began with a child’s disappearance ten years before.

This was such a good book. There were tons of twists and turns and had my mind constantly thinking and trying to decide what exactly is going on. Safer also sends shivers up your spine as those who you are supposed to be able to trust and depend on, your neighbors, turn out to be the ones you need to protect yourself from. Mr. Doolittle provides little clues for you to be able to try and figure out some of what is exactly going on and I definitely plan on looking for more books by this great author.

This book also added extra chills to me. About 2 years ago, we had some serious problems with our next door neighbors. Now before I tell this story, I should say that while I live in the Detroit area, I am in the suburbs where crime is still relatively low. Chris and I bought our house the year before we got married and I moved in about 3 months before our wedding. Chris is pretty shy and we do tend to stay pretty much to ourselves but our friendly with our neighbors. One summer night while I was reading in my family room with the windows open I heard a huge fight next door. Turns out the wife got addicted to pain killers and to support her habit, began selling drugs. I had suspected something was going on because of all the traffic in and out, but couldn't believe that it could be happening. This was a couple in their 40's with kids. Well the husband kicked the wife out and got a divorce. The wife shacks up with some loser boyfriend who on a Friday afternoon right after school got out in early September, these losers come back, break into the house and start a fight with the roommate in my front lawn. We call the police and eventually they take off, nearly hitting some kids with their car. Well the ex-wife must have decided that enough was enough and breaks up with the loser. The loser believes it is because she wants to get back together with the ex-husband, my neighbor, and decides to get him out of the picture. He proceeds to do a drive-by shooting, missing my neighbor by inches. Police arrest the guy but it doesn't stop there... he hires a hit-man from jail. The hit-man starts stalking my neighbor, but eventually goes to the police. They actually faked my neighbor's death to get the payoff and now charge the guy with another attempted murder charge. My neighbor decides that this is enough and he moves. The house stays empty for quite awhile, and I all I keep thinking is what if this guy decides I have nothing to lose, I am facing life in prison and hires another hit-man who gets our houses mixed up... or a stray bullet hits my house? Needless to say, this led to depression on my part along with a huge anxiety problem that I am just now finally getting a handle on. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday to be taken off of my meds after two years and can finally start to try and have a baby. So while I have given you way more than you probably ever wanted to know about me, it feels good to be able to talk about this without being freaked out and reading a book like Safer with having a panic attack.

Whew.... well dinner is ready and I am starving. I got some new books today thanks to a gift certificate and plan on jumping in as soon as dinner is done. Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mad River Road by Joy Fielding

I read a book by Ms. Fielding late last year that I absolutely loved and much to my pleasant surprise, I found I had several of her backlist on my TBR shelves. I decided to read Mad River Road after looking at my shelves for about 15 minutes hoping that it was as good as Whispers and Lies. It wasn't, but that's not to say that it wasn't a good suspense book. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
She found the perfect lover. . . . Jamie Kellogg's life is at a crossroads. Stuck in a dead-end job, the divorced twenty-nine-year-old has been ruled by the voices of her judgmental mother and her perfectionist sister long enough. Now she's hearing only the sexy whispers of the thrillingly handsome stranger in her bed, the man she met in a Florida bar. His name is Brad Fisher, and he's telling her everything she's been dying to hear: She's gorgeous. She's smart. She's adventurous. Quitting her job and joining Brad on a spontaneous road trip, Jamie's ready for the ride of her life. But this trip has one destination: a run-down Ohio house on Mad River Road, where vengeance will come home at last -- and where someone will pay for the secrets and lies of the past. . . .

First of all, I have to say that Jamie may be one of the stupidest women I have read about. I can see the thrill and excitement of taking off on a fun adventure with someone, but a guy that you just met 12 hours earlier? That is just plain idiotic. Who does that?!? But I am sure that there are people out there who choose to be that reckless, and it did set up an interesting and scary premise for Mad River Road. Ms. Fielding does a fantastic job of letting the suspense build and soon you find yourself turning the pages and telling yourself one more, one more... This story is told through three different women's point of view and I really enjoyed seeing through the eyes of these very different, however somewhat alike, women. The only downside of the book was that the ending felt like it was a bit rushed. The book was pretty long (484 pages) and I felt like the climax and conclusion was stuffed in only about 30 pages. It didn't bother me enough though, to mark the book down that much and I will definitely be checking out more of Ms. Fielding's books.

Up next is Safer by Sean Doolittle. I read about this book in Romantic Times and have now seen it on a couple of blogs. It sounds very interesting, though I only snuck in about 10 pages while at work today. Once I get home from work, I hope to cuddle up and watch some of the Red Wing game while diving straight in. I hope all of you are pleasantly entertained by whatever you are reading and Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dead Sleep by Greg Iles

This is the first time I have read a book in a weekend for what seems like forever, but really has to be just a month or so. Dead Sleep was the perfect selection to jump start my promise to myself to fit in more reading wherever I could and it was a wonderfully well-written suspense novel. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
They are called "The Sleeping Women." A series of unsettling paintings in which the nude female subjects appear to be not asleep, but dead. Photojournalist Jordan Glass has another reason to find the paintings disturbing...The face on one of the nudes is her own-or perhaps the face of her twin sister, who disappeared and is still missing. At the urging of the FBI, Jordan becomes both hunter and hunted in a search for the anonymous artist-an obsessed killer who seems to know more about Jordan and her family than she is prepared to face...

The idea of this book and the fact that a killer is releasing paintings of his victims is something that I have never come across. Mr. Iles does a great job of providing the reader with clues to make the ending not come totally out of left field but still surprises you. I also think the author does a fantastic job writing from a female's point of view considering that he is a man. I don't think it is an easy thing for an author to do, and Mr. Iles pulls it off excellently. There was one bone I had to pick with the story and that is the amount of involvement Jordan is in the investigation. Never would the FBI or any police force allow a citizen to be that involved with the case and Jordan seems somewhat like a spoiled brat, believing she has the right to know every little detail and be involved in every meeting. I was able to suspend my belief, however, because the book was that enjoyable.

There was one passage in particular that I loved. It doesn't have much to do with the suspense aspect of the story, but talks about Jordan growing up as a child. Her family didn't have much money, but her mother always allowed them to indulge in books. Jordan recalls the Scholastic book order that came each month in class and how much fun she had looking through the paper magazine making her selections and how excited she was when her teacher would check each child's order off from the list she had on her desk. I remember that distinctively from my childhood and it was one of my favorite parts of school. Last year when I was doing my student teaching, one of my favorite parts was organizing the Scholastic book order and passing the books out to the students. I loved seeing them so excited over books, though I was disappointed to see so many toys and computer games that were available for purchase through the order.

All right, enough rambling from me. I am going to go to bed and try and shake this bug that I have. I am not sure what it is, but I am leaning towards a sinus infection of the flu. Today was spent relaxing a bit and I hope this is helping towards my recovery. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and Happy Reading!