Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Next Victim by Jonnie Jacobs

I have been in quite a reading slump and since my last post, I haven't read anything until Friday. Every time I went to go start a book, I would read a few paragraphs and put it down. I planned on getting some reading in over the holiday break and was busy shopping Thursday and Friday, and finally sat down and opened up The Next Victim on Saturday. By turning off the tv and computer, I was able to get into the book quickly and finished it today. I give it a B+.

Back cover:
When wealthy heiress Sloane Winslow is found murdered in her house along with the body of pretty college coed Olivia Perez, the evidence all points to one suspect, John O'Brien- San Francisco defense attorney Kali O'Brien's brother. The last time Kali spoke to John, he was desperate to tell her something but too drunk to get it out. Now he's dead, an apparent suicide by overdose...
Although Kali wasn't close to her brother, she can't believe he was capable of murder. But when she finds a clue hidden in his dictionary- a photo of three attractive young women, one of whom is the slain Olivia Perez, she realizes her brother had many secrets. And when one of the other women in the photo- a stripper and porn actress- is found brutally murdered in a ditch, Kali wonders if her brother really did commit suicide.
As Kali digs deeper for the truth, her search plunges her deep into the sex industry's hidden underworld. Now her only hope for solving the case lies in finding the last girl in the picture, a witness who knows far more than she should, maybe too much to live- and Kali has to get to her before she becomes the next victim...

This was a good book, though I had the killer figured out before the end of the book. Not too soon before the end of the book, but I suspected as much. I thought that Ms. Jacobs did a fantastic job of making all of the characters real and believeable, and even Kali was a bit annoying, she was real. I think Kali's job also allowed for to figure out a lot of the details of the case and gave her a good cover as to who she was and how she could investigate. Sometimes I feel like in suspense books there is a main character who figures out and solves a mystery and there is no way your average person could get all of that information. There were a few curve balls thrown into the story and they were good additions to the story. This is part of a series, and I am pretty sure it is in the middle of the series but it didn't seem to bother me as usual. I skimmed over a couple of paragraphs that talked about previous books in case I read any other books.

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I do have some library books that I need to get to. My husband and I got new furniture from my way too generous mom today and they will be delivering it tomorrow. I need to get the old stuff out and vacaum and then tomorrow I have to sit around and wait for it, so hopefully I will get in some reading time. Happy Reading everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Perfect Wife and Mother by Alexandra Frye

I picked up A Perfect Wife and Mother at the library last time I was browsing. This sounded like another Lifetime movie that I would love to see, and I had to get it. It was an enjoyable read, if not somewhat dated, and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
When pregnant Georgia Coffey, an affluent homemaker, finally discovers the perfect babysitter for her son Justin, she is exuberant. At first, beautiful and intelligent Harriet surpasses Georgia's spoiled expectations; Justin falls in love with her almost immediately, his mother finds in Harriet the confidante and helpmate she's been searching for all her life. Tucked in the elegant, cozy hills of St. George, New Jersey, Georgia's home epitomizes the American dream. Her husband, Lawerence Coffey, known as the Big Bear on Wall Street, prospers in his career, loves his family and indulges Georgia's every desire from psychiatrists to expensive haircuts and highly paid babysitters. So why does Georgia feel so insistently queasy, so anxious? Something is amiss in fairy-tale land, of course, and when Justin disappears with Harriet, a thrilling story of deception, treachery, old Wall Street money, and familial love unfolds.

Like I mentioned, this book is a bit dated, written, I believe, in 1992 and taking place in the late 80s/ early 90s. I had to keep reminding myself of this as I was reading and thinking to myself why don't they use their cell phones or search for things online but it really didn't take too much away from the story. Georgia was a very difficult character to like, one that is very self-serving and selfish. I mean, why does she need to have a baby nurse, housekeeper and nanny for her three year old when she isn't even working? Maybe it's because I wasn't raised that way, but doesn't it seem somewhat excessive? The story was told through three different viewpoints, Harriet, Georgia, and Larry, with also allowing the reader to hear some of the bad guys viewpoints as well. It was a good book, but probably nothing that will stick with me for much longer.

Up next is another library book. I just grabbed it real quick as I was getting ready to leave. I have a busy day ahead of me. In a bit I am leaving for a road rally (so MUCH FUN!) and then tonight we have bowling! We are currently in first place, which is truly amazing since our team is horrible, except for my husband, and tonight we are bowling the second place team. Hopefully luck is on my side today! Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Dead Place by Rebecca Drake

Rebecca Drake is a relatively new-to-me author as I think I've only read two or three books by her. As a matter of fact, I think she only has published three books, but I hope she continues. I really liked The Dead Place and give it a B+.

Back cover:
The first victim is found floating in a creek- aked, beautiful, brutally garroted. Lily Locum was a college student with everything live for ad nothing to fear... until a madma made her his obsession...
At first glance, a quiet campus town like Wickfield seems like the ideal place for Kate Corbin to start over after a traumatic attack. But when another young girl disappears on her way to class, Kate's fear resurfaces in earnest. She's right to be afraid. Behind Wickfield's picture-perfect facade, a nightmare is unfolding... and it's about to strike chillingly close to home...
A serial killer is on the loose... ruthless, twisted, and lethally smart. Now locked in a desperate race against time, Kate's only chance of stopping a madman's grisly game is to venture deeper into a diabolical web where no one is who they seem to be... and the smallest mistake could be her last...

I love these suspense books where the main character is a typical, suburban mom placed into danger. I am not sure why, but perhaps it's because of the normalacy that is thrown out of whack. Kate has had a rough year and a half, but her and her family hope that the move to Wickfield will help change some of that, but of course it doesn't. I think there is a lot that the reader can relate to as well; a rebellious teenage daughter, marriage trying to stay together after quite a few years together, waking up every day facing the same mundane things. I had the killer figured out pretty early, but I suspect it was because I always suspect the least suspicious character. There were quite a few twisted things that this murderer does to his victims, but nothing that made it too difficult to read. I will definitely be checking out more of Ms. Drake's books in the future. As a matter of fact, I am going to check for her website right now and see if there are any other books coming out any time soon!

Up next is a library book. I seem to be in a good groove, alternating between library books and my own. I am not sure which library book I will read, though it will probably be whichever one I grab. I have them in a magazine holder next to my reading chair and I think I will just reach over and let fate decide my next read. Happy Reading everyone!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Houseguest by Thomas Berger

I picked up The Houseguest on a whim a week or so ago when I was browsing at my library. It sounded interesting and somewhat like those Lifetime movies I enjoy so much (you know the one... where the unsuspecting nanny/housekeeper/neighbor turns psycho) so I decided to give it a try. It was somewhat disappointing, though, and I am not sure why I even finished it. I give it a C.

Back cover:
Chuck Burgoyne is no ordinary houseguest. The Graveses (father Doug, wife Audrey, son Bobby, and daughter-in-law Lydia) have gotten used to his polite matters and gourmet breakfasts. But one morning at the Graveses' summer home, Chuck fails to appear.
When Chuck finally does surface, he is no longer sweet and charming, but rathers has become agressive and arrogant, abusing each family member in turn. Each family member, that is, except for the fellow outsider, Lydia. Once Chuck rescues her from the dangerous undertow of the ocean, Lydia can't help but feel obligated to him, even after his uninvited advances to her while she's half asleep. Slowly it becomes apparent to the family that Chuck isn't anyone's guest but rather a perfect stranger who wormed his way into their home. Yet the Graveses are so concerned with not offending him by being impolite that they willingly accept the abuse he freely dishes out. In private, however, they all scheme for his undoing. But will anyone muster up the courage?

This was a short book, only about 240 pages long, but somewhat dry. I admit to some skimming and probably only finished reading it because I wanted to find out the ending and see what happens. None of the characters were particularly likeable and somewhat annoying. The only character I could muster some sympathy for was Lydia, but even that was farfetched. I think I was expecting there to be more of that Lifetime quality and characteristics, but this was more of comedy series that takes a cynical look at manners and the way of life of those who are wealthy and belief themselves to be above others. While I did smile a time or two here and there, I probably won't be checking anything out by Mr. Berger any time soon.

Right now I am trying to decide between another library book or one of my own. I think I am going to lean towards one of my own, though I always like to get through my library books quickly in case someone else is waiting for it. I know how impatient I can get when waiting for a book! :) Hopefully I will get the chance to start something tonight, though I do admit to being somewhat tired and worn out. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Hunting We Will Go by Hal Friedman

I picked this book up from a library used book sale because of the author's name. I recgonized his name from co-authoring some books with James Patterson, and I always seem to enjoy his books that are written with someone else. It was a longer book, coming in at 440 pages, but it was a good book. I give it a B.

Back cover:
Arthur Combs is LA's hottest story. Dubbed Starman, this terrifying serial killer is a monster who preys on beautiful, famous women- guided by the sadistic urges of a mysterious partner.
Kaitlyn Rome is LA"s hottest TV news anchor. Intelligent and ambitious, she is the leading reporter on this career-making story- and Starman's next target.
As Starman closes in, Kate turns to the one person who can help her survive, veteran cop and department outsider Dan Jarrett. Together they must outwit a diabolical psychopath in a game with only one rule- kill or be killed.

This serial killer was really a true psycho, one that kills quite often. However, there wasn't a bunch of suspense, as the reader knows for the most part who the killer is. There are some twists throughout the story, especially one at the end, but it wasn't the best suspense book out there. I had a difficult time liking the main character, Kaitlyn, though, as she really rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the decisions she made left me thinking "what... why would you do that?!?" It drives me nuts sometimes when authors make characters stupid or behave in a way that a normal person would act like to just try and build or add some suspense. In my opinion, it wrecks the story and pulls me out of it. According to the author's biography in the back of the book this was the author's first book and I think it shows somewhat. I saw that the author had at least one other book out by himself and I might check it out sometime in the future, but it won't be on my immediate need to buy book list.

Up next is a library book. I am not sure which one I am going to choose, as I have several to choose from. This weekend seems to be a busy one, but I hope to be able to sneak some reading time in some where. Happy Reading everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

I love this series and always look forward to the newest installment. However, since these books can generally be read in one sitting and they run somewhere around $28.00, I always get it from the library. It was finally my turn to read it, and I really enjoyed it. I give it a B+.

Inside cover:
Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipolte comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head- literally. Throw in some spice- Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli. Pump up the heat: Chipolte's sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers. Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help her find the killers and collect the moolah. Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur. Enough said. Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office and night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger's problems and not jump his bones? Warning: Habanero hot. So good you'll want seconds.

This is your usual Stephanie Plum book. Cars exploding, firebombs being thrown, and crazy funny fugitives for Stephanie to catch. Of course there's the usual Morelli vs. Ranger thing going on, and of course I am a HUGE Morelli fan. I think he would provide Stephanie with some much needed stability and they just seem to be a better match. My two favorite characters, Grandma Mazur and Lula, have quite a presence in the story and that really makes the book extra better. I love them. I admit some laugh out loud moments and it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon and early this morning. I'm glad I read it, but even more glad that I didn't buy the book.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have several library books I picked up Friday when the mood for shopping struck me, but should read one of my own books. I can't believe how close to the end of the year it is, and I really want to meet all of my challenges. I'm not sure if I will be able to get much reading time in today as I'm leaving for my mom's right now to go out to breakfast and then have a party to go to at 2:00. Then hubby comes home tonight, so I imagine we will spend some time catching up. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Murder Artist by John Case

I FINALLY finished a book! Thank heavens... I just couldn't get any reading in this week for some reason. For starters, I've found I 've been spending way too much time online doing absolutely nothing lately, so last night and this morning I made a pact to keep the computer off and read. The Murder Artist also helped to break through this mini-slump, as once I got reading for a bit, I was sucked right in reading over 300 pages last night and this morning. I give The Murder Artist a B+.

Back cover:
Television news correspondent Alex Callahan witnesses danger and death on a daily basis, and knows the meaning of fear. But nothing prepares him for the feeling of profound terror that grabs him when his six-year-old twin boys vanish without a trace at a countryside Renaissance Fair. The ensuing anonymous phone call- and the familiar, plaintive voice of a child- only deepens Alex's certainty that he doesn't have much time. Telltale signs reveal a hidden pattern of bizarre and ghoulish abductions, as a profile of a predator slowly emerges- a twisted soul, hell-bent on fulfilling an unspeakably dark dream. What Alex is closing in on is a monster with a fiendish mission.

The Murder Artist is quite an involved book, one that has lots of twists and turns. If the reader pays close attention to little clues and hints, you can figure out the why and what, though the who is not easily figured out. I loved Alex and thought that he was a great character, and Mr. Case does a great job of painting a grieving parent who has lost their children to a kidnapper. There is a lot of reference to other kidnapped children that also adds to the beliveablitity to the story. The ending leaves you a bit hanging though, where everything isn't all tied up and packaged with a pretty bow, which normally drives me crazy, but this time it didn't bother me because it just seemed like a great ending. There were a ton of twists and turns, along with some gore and tough spots, but overall Mr. Case does a fantastic job of building the suspense. This book is somewhat older, written I believe in 2003, but if you ever come across it at the library or a UBS or something and you enjoy a good suspense book, please do check it out.

Up next is the latest book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I have been waiting forever for it through the library and finally picked up it earlier this week. Even though I've been dying to read it, even that couldn't get me out of my slump but I hope to start on it today. I am going to catch up on some blog reading and then plan to start it. I have bowling league this evening, but I should be home around 9:00ish and will then spend some more quality time in the pages. My hubby is out of town for the weekend working, so I have the house and tv remote to myself. While I miss him maddly, I am enjoying some me time! Happy Reading everyone!