Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mortal Fear by Greg Iles

I recently discovered Greg Iles and really love his style of writing. I picked this book up last week when I wasn't feeling well and decided to read it last weekend. It was a Chunkster, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish it before the end of the month but I was able to squeak it in. It was a good read and I give it an A-.

Back cover:
By day, Harper Cole trades commodities over the Internet from his isolated Mississippi farmhouse. At night, he is systems operator of EROS, an exclusive, sexually explicit on-line service that guarantees total anonymity to its rich and famous clientele.
But now somehone has penetrated EROS's state-of-the-art security... someone who has brutally murdered six celebrated women. Each time, the weapon and the city are different. And each time, the killer has claimed the same horrifying trophy.
For Harper Cole, who has suddenly become the prime suspect, there is only one way to lure the elusive madman into the open. But Harper Cole has dangerous sexual secrets of his own. His daring plan will place everything and everyone he loves in the path of a brillian, unstoppable killer...

This book had a ton of suspense as well as some good emotional tugs to it as well. Because the book was orginally published in 1997, the Internet was a fairly new and not so common thing and I thought Mr. Iles did a fantastic job of explaining it all without bogging down the story or making it too technical. Chat rooms were a new thing and the author even mentions that the FBI isn't completely online... that totally astounded me! Mr. Iles is a wonderful author who is able to weave together storylines and keeps the suspense building and building until the very end. Another great addition from Mr. Iles!

Up next is a book by one of another of my favorite authors, Wendy Corsi Staub. She always seems to release a brand new suspense book around my birthday, so it is hard to forget. I picked it up yesterday and am looking forward to start it. I also went to one of my local library's used book sales today (which is always held on the weekend of my birthday) and got about 22 new books... including a brand new book that looks like it has never been read! Playoff hockey for the Wings starts tomorrow night which I can hardly wait for! I hope everyone else is reading some excellent books! Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Still Life by Joy Fielding

Well this afternoon after teaching online for a couple of hours, I sat down outside and started reading Still Life. After about an hour, driven by the threat of rain, I moved inside and quickly finished it off. Still Life was just what I needed to jump start the still life that was my reading and I give it a B+.

Back cover:
Beautiful, happily married, and owner of a successful interior design business, Casey Marshall couldn't be more content with her life until a car slams into her at almost 50 miles an hour, breaking nearly every bone in her body, and plunging her into a coma. Lying in her hospital bed, Casey realizes that although she is unable to see or communicate, she can hear everything. She quickly discovers that her friends aren't necessarily the people she thought them to be- and that her accident may not have been an accident after all. As she struggles to break free from her living death, she begins to wonder if what lies ahead could be even worse.

I loved the premise of this book... it just seemed like something completely different and new. Plus it reminded me a bit of one of my all time favorite movies, Rear Window. Who can forget when James Stewart can hear the footsteps of Raymond Burr as he climbs and Mr. Stewart is trapped in his wheelchair? I also enjoyed the way that Ms. Fielding told the story... the accident occurs right in the beginning of the story and the history of Casey and those close to her are told through dreams and people reminicsing while they assume Casey can't hear. The suspense was done well through most of the book, though I did feel like the ending was just a bit of a let down, hence the slightly lower rating. However, this is another great addition by one of my newest favorite authors.

I have already started another book by a new favorite author and this is one is by Greg Iles. I am not sure of the title and the book isn't right in front of me, but I can tell you that I am about 60 pages in and am enjoying it. Though it was written in 1997 and focuses on the internet when it was relatively new, I do think Mr. Iles has done a great job so far. Well, I am off! Happy Reading everyone!

Friday, April 24, 2009

1st to Die by James Patterson

So after finishing my last book, The Other Woman, almost a week ago I have finally finished another one! I was reading a book that held a lot of promise, 28 Bones by Johnathan Nasaw, but I got sick on Sunday with the worst migraine I have had in a long time and left me bed ridden for 3 days. Finally on Tuesday I decided I wanted to read but needed something that I could read in small bursts when I was feeling a bit better so I picked up a James Patterson book. 1st to Die was a good read and a nice introduction to the Womens Club and I give it a B+.

Back cover:
In San Francisco newlyweds are being stalked- and slaughtered. Enter four unforgettable women, all friends... Lindsay, a homicide inspector in the city's police department... Claire, a medical examiner... Jill, an assistant D.A... and Cindy, a reporter who has just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. Joining forces, pooling all their talents, courage, and brains, they have one goal. To find, trap, and outwit the most diabolical and terrifying killer ever imagined.

I really liked the idea of having four women coming together to solve some of the craziest and scariest killers. The idea of newlyweds, barely newlyweds, who have only been married for hours being hunted down was very different and scary. As always, Mr. Patterson writes nice, short chapters that keeps the action moving and I thought he did a great job writing from a woman's point of view. There was even a little bit of romance through in to add to the story. I look forward to reading more of the Women's Murder Club in the future though I do have a question for those that have read more of this series. Does Patterson always have the main character be Lindsay, or are we treated to more of the other characters' personal lives as well? Thanks in advance for your help!

This weekend is planning on being beautiful and in fact today it was in the mid-80s! I absolutely love this weather and can't wait for summer to be here for good! My beloved Red Wings clinched the first round of the playoffs yesterday and off for the next week or so, so I am going to plan on spending some time reading and hanging out outside. I picked up the newest Joy Fielding book from the library yesterday and plan on getting that one in this weekend hopefully. I am still very nauseous at times, but I am popping Pepto Bismal and it is helping a bit. My DH and I are trying to get pregnant, so I am somewhat hopeful that this nausea isn't left over from my migraine but something totally different. I don't want to focus and dwell on it though, so all the more reason to pick up some great books and get lost in some wonderful stories! Happy Reading everyone!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Other Woman by Joy Fielding

The Other Woman by Joy Fielding is one of Ms. Fielding's oldest books. Published in 1983, I was afraid that the story may be too dated, but fortunetly, it wasn't. The book, topic, and the way the story was dealt with are all revelant to today's world. The Other Woman was a good read, and I give it a B-.

Back cover:
She was liberated- and fiercely independent- which only made it worse when she fell into the oldest trap in the world: a love affair with a married man. Unlike many another "other woman" she became his wife. And all too soon her mother's semmingly old-fashioned prediction came true: "If he'll do it to one woman, he'll do it to you."
At first Jill Plumely thought it was a flattering, if tasteless, joke when the sexy, beautiful young attorney introduced herself and whispered I'm going to marry your husband. Then David Plumey began spending late nights and weekends at the office. And Jill realized it was no joke; she recgonized the scenario all too well. Rotten coincidence? Maybe. Perhaps poetic justice. Jill knew all about being David's mistress; now she knew what it meant to be his wife.

I am used to Ms. Fielding's suspense books, so I was a bit disappointed that this book lacked some of the suspense. I did, however, really enjoy Jill's character. I could totally relate with her feelings and thoughts. At times I had a hard time feeling sorry for Jill, though, because as the description says, she was at one time the other woman and she broke up a marriage herself. Ms. Fielding does a good job making Jill sympathetic, though, and shows how sometimes karma really can come back and bite you. While this wasn't my favorite Ms. Fielding book, it was an enjoyable read.

My reading has really slowed down again. The past two days have been absolutely gorgeous out, so I have been spending as much time outside riding my bike, talking walks, etc. Plus the Red Wings are in the playoffs, so a lot of time has been spent watching them and the other playoff games. I went to the game last night and had an awesome time but we had to wait for over an hour in line to leave the parking garage, so I was able to finish up The Other Woman. Today is going to be spent catching up on tv shows, reading 27 Bones by Jonathan Nasaw, and getting ready to go back to work tomorrow (YUCK!!!). Happy Reading everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shake Down by Joel Goodman

I picked up Shake Down by Mr. Goldman last time I was at the library. I will admit, the reason why I picked it up was because the book was published by Pinnacle Books. I really enjoy Pinnacle Books, as I have mentioned in the past. The back cover grabbed my attention and it was the first book I pulled out of my "book holder" late Monday night when I decided to start something new. While the back cover blurb was somewhat misleading, I really enjoyed the book and give it a B+.

Back cover:
The lives of three people collide over mass murder at a Kansas City residence that Special Agent Jack Davis has carefully staked out for weeks. Kate Scranton, whose job is spotting lies for high-priced courtroom lawyers, is convinced that mild-mannered Latrell Kelly knows something about the crime. But Latrell is hiding far more than Kate can guess. And with Jack half-blinded by an imploding personal life, and someone on his own side leaking crucial information, they're headed straight for the ultimate danger zone...

First off, Kate Scranton plays a very minor role in this book, though the role she plays is fascinating. Kate is able to spot mini facial movements that helps her decide if someone is lying. This is something that I have never heard of, and I assume is something that has some truth to it. I would have loved if Mr. Goldman had fleshed this idea out a bit more. Also, Jack is going through a terrible health crisis throughout the book that has him fearing the worst... Parkinsons or Lou Gherig's diasese. My father suffers from Parkinsons and has since I was about 16. I remember when his shaking first started and it was a very terrifying time in all of our lives. I get tremors sometimes and everyone is very cautious of this. I thought Mr. Goldman did a fantastic job dealing with this and adding it in to the suspense. There were quite a few twists and turns in the story and I finally had it figured out just as Jack was. I will definitely be checking out more books by Joel Goldman in the future.

This is my favorite time in the year... spring is finally arriving, baseball season has started, and hockey playoffs start! My beloved Wings start tomorrow and I will be screaming my head off at the tv at 7:00 and attending the game on Saturday! In between there, I will be enjoying my precious few days left off and hopefully getting a few more good books in. I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I want to finish off my library books. I hope everyone else is enjoying some good books and Happy Reading!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fetish by Tara Moss

I got Fetish by Tara Moss last week when I was browsing at the library. It sounded interesting and since the book was set in Australia I figured it would be good to expand my reading locations and settings. Even though I have had so much extra time lately, I haven't done much reading so today I decided to put on the Tiger's game, shut down the computer and read. It worked and I finished Fetish, giving it a B+.

Back cover:
Mak is young, beautiful- and in grave danger. An international fashion model, she arrived in Australia on assignment, only to find her best friend brutally murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer with a very deadly fetish. Before she knows it, Mak herself is caught up in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Who can you trust and where can you turn when you are the dark obsession of a sadistic psychopath.

I really liked the main character, Mak. Though she is a model, she is old for the industry (25... that is so not old!!!!) and is taking jobs to put herself through school to become a forsenic psychologist. The youngest daughter of a homicide detective from Canada, Mak is thrown into the hunt for this horrible killer and is soon finds herself stalked. The mystery was done well and there was even a little bit of romance thrown in. The killer was definitely a bad guy who was very twisted though I did feel that there weren't a lot of clues to help the reader detect who he was. I loved reading about Australia and the language/slang was just a little difficult to understand. It seems that Mak is a main character in a mystery series and Fetish is either the first or second book in the series. I plan on looking for more in this series if I can find them through my library.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I know I have several books from the library to read, including a Lisa Jackson book that is due back this week. Perhaps I will pick that one up or maybe another library book or one of my own. I am off to take a shower and then I will decide. I know I want to take as much as my free time possible for reading. I hope everyone else is reading some great books and Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Deep End by Joy Fielding

As I mentioned in my last post, I picked up quite a few books from the library on Monday. While there I got two older books by Joy Fielding, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite others. I decided to pick up The Deep End and quickly read it. I give it an A-.

Back cover:
Joanne Hunter's secure suburban life is quickly falling apart. Her husband's deseration after twenty years of marriage leaves her stunned. Eve, her best friend, is strangely distant. Her grandfather, who has been her pillar of strength and support, lies ill and helpless in a nursing home. Lana and Robin, her teenage daughters, claim every ounce of her energy and devotion and all the loves she feels she has lost. Only one person seems to care- a stranger with a rasping voice, a tormentor with a vicious mind. Danger and disappear close in with each ring of the telephone. Each deadly message lures her inexorably towards the deep end...

While there is a "Suburban Strangler" on the loose, preying on suburban housewives and the calls Joanne is getting tells her that she will be next, this story was much more than a psychological mystery. Though The Deep End was written in 1986, there are many topics relevant to today's topics many people face. I think Ms. Fielding does an excellent job of showing what it looks like to be a woman who's whole life is suddenly uprooted by her husband walking out on her and her teenage daughter getting mixed up with those who she shouldn't. Besides the comments on the clothes that people are wearing in the story, the book wasn't dated at all. I really enjoyed this book along with the other stories running through it, especially what is happening to Joanne's best friend, Eve. My only complaint is that I felt like there was a little bit of strings left hanging at the end regarding Eve. The mystery was just an added bonus to this book!

Well I am now officially on Spring Break! No more subbing for over a week... YAY! I have big plans of deep cleaning, lots of reading, and lots of relaxing. Now if only the weather could cooperate... I mean it is April and snow should not be part of the weather forecast. Also, the Red Wings start the playoffs next week and the Tigers home opener is tomorrow. I have been counting down for this week for months so I am happy it is finally here! Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hot Blooded by Lisa Jackson

So Hot Blooded was my first book read for the Lisa Jackson read-a-fest. I had high hopes for this book, but for some reason it almost felt like a chore to read. It did redeem itself towards the end, so I will give it a B.

Back cover:
A prostitute lies strangled in a seedy French Quarter hotel room. Miles away, in a rambling plantation house on the sultry shores of Lake Ponchartrain, popular late-night radio host Dr. Samantha Leeds receives a threatening crank call. All in a day's work for a celebrity. Who would link the two?
A second hooker's corpse turns up. Samantha's ominous caller persists, along with a mysterious female claiming to be a woman from her past- a woman who's been dead for years. With Detective Rick Bentz convinced that the serial killer prowling the shadowy streets of New Orleans is somebody close to Samantha, she doesn't dare trust anyone. Especially not Ty Wheeler, her seductive new neighbor who seems to know more about her than a stranger should.
Somebody has discovered Samantha's darkest secret. Somebody is convinced that lives must be sacrificed to pay for her sins. So far, the vitcims have been strangers. But as a cunning, cold-blooded killer grows bolder, Samantha wonders in dread if she will be the next to die...

I want to start off by saying that I think part of the reason this book took me awhile to read was because of me... I just wasn't in the mood for romance. Maybe it is because it always seems to have the same setup... man meets woman, one keeps something from the other, and then there is a big misunderstanding. Sometimes it just feels like I have been there and done that so many times that it grates on my nerves. With that being said, I have to admit that the mystery redeemed itself and there were several good suspects that could have been the bad guy, so that is always a plus. I love when the author can throw me some hoops. I also think another thing that bothered me was Samantha wasn't a very sympathetic main character. She seemed very whiny, and to tell you the truth, I don't think she treated the people around her very nicely. I am not sure I would want to call her up for advice.

Hot Blooded leaves off with a good hook for where Cold Blooded should pick up. I do have Cold Blooded on my shelves, but I think I am going to hang on to it for a bit. I went to the library yesterday and picked up quite a few books and also have another Lisa Jackson book I got from the library to read as well, though that one may go back unread. I want to jump in to something that will grab me right away, especially since I had such a good run in March with reading and Spring Break is coming up next week. I did get two Joy Fielding books and I always seem to have good luck with her, so maybe I will pick up one of hers, though I am not sure. Happy Reading everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Support Your Local Library Challenge Wrap-Up

I finished the Support Your Local Library Challenge! I am so happy to have finished two of the four challenges I signed up for already! Here are the books I read:

1. Innocence by Karen Novak
2. Close to You by Mary Jane Clark
3. Testimony by Anita Shreve
4. Sleep Softly by Gwen Hunter
5. Black Out by Lisa Unger
6. In the Woods by Tana French
7. Bust by Ken Bruen and Jason Star
8. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
9. Telling Lies to Alice by Laura Wilson
10. A Wicked Snow by Gregg Olsen
11. Married to a Stranger by Patricia MacDonald
12. The Likeness by Tana French
13. Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box
14. Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron
15. Old Flames by Jack Ketchum
16. Little Face by Sophie Hannah
17. Breakneck by Erica Spindler
18. The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner
19. Safer by Sean Doolittle
20. Where Are You Now by Mary Higgins Clark
21. Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
22. Third Degree by Greg Iles
23. Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke
24.Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock
25. Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

This was a wonderful challenge and perfect for me since I love using my library. I saved a ton of money but checking out these books and not waiting for the fantastic books to come out in paperback! Thanks J. Kaye for hosting such a wonderful event!

Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

I absolutely adore Lisa Lutz's Spellman books, and I was so happy that I was able to pick this book up from the library so quickly! I read Revenge of the Spellmans most of yesterday and finished this afternoon and had several laughing out loud moments. I give it an A-.

Back cover:
Private investigator Isabel Spellman is back on the case and back on the couch- in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to the previous subject. As the book opens, Izzy in on hiatus from Spellman Inc. But when her boss, Milo, simultaneously cuts her bartending hours and introduces her to a "friend" looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. She assures herself that the case- a suspicious husband who wants his wife tailed- will be short and sweet, and will involve nothing more that the most boring of PI rituals:surveillance. But with each passing hour, Izzy finds herself with more questions than hard evidence.
Meanwhile, Spellmania continues. Izzy's brother, David, the family's most upright member, has adopted an uncharacteristically unkempt apperance and attitude toward work, life, and Izzy. And the wayward youngest sister, Rae, a historic academic underachiever, aces the PSATS and subsequently offends her study partner and object of obsession, Detective Henry Stone, to the point of excommunication. The only unsurprising behavior comes from her parents, whose visits to Milo's bar amount to thinly veiled surveillance and artful attempts at getting Izzy to return to the Spellman Inc. fold.
As the case of the wayward wife continues to vex her, Izzy's personal life-and mental health- seem to be disintegrating. Facing a housing crisis, she can't sleep, she can't remember where she parked her car, and despite her shrinks persistence, she can't seem to break through in her appointments. SHe certainly can't explain why she forgets dates with her lawyer's grandson or fails to see the come-ons issued in an Irish brogue by Milo's new bartender. Nor can she explain how she feels about Detective Henry Stone and his plans to move in with his new Assistant DA girlfriend...

This book has it all... romance, mystery, drama, and humor. I love Ms. Spellman's writing and her voice. The footnotes and appendix just add to the humor and make things more interesting. Izzy is such a likeable character, as is all of her wacky family members. I also like that though the family members are wacky and crazy, they are still believable. I can see a lot of the things actually happening in real life, which is somewhat unlike Janet Evanovich's books. I truly hope that Ms. Lutz continues to write this loveable series that is such a break from the everyday, heavier suspense books I read normally. This was a wonderful way to end the Library Book Challenge held by J.Kaye.

Up next is a Lisa Jackson book to kick off the Lisa Jackson Read-a-thon. I am not sure which one I am going to read because I have to look at her list and decide which ones I have and where they fall in a series. I have the remainder of the day off, save for some tutoring appointments, and I want to get some cleaning in and possibly a nap as well. I am exhausted and had a lock down with Kindergartens (which is not fun) and has added to my exhaustion but I want to get some reading in. I have a full time job tomorrow and have to work Saturday as well. Happy Reading everyone!