Monday, November 29, 2010

102. True Evil by Greg Iles

I love Greg Iles books, and picked up this one from the library when I saw it. I tend to spread out reading his books because I enjoy them so much and I don't want to run out of his books to read! True Evil was good, but it wasn't my favorite. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Dr. Chris Shepard has never seen his new patient before. But the attractive young woman with the scarred face knows him all too well. An FBI agent working undercover, Alex Morse has come to Dr. Shepard's office in Natchez, Mississippi, to unmask a killer. A local divorce attorney has a cluster of clients whose spouses have all died under mysterious circumstances. Agent Morse's own brother-in-law was one of those clients, and now her beloved sister is dead. Then comes Morse's bombshell: Dr. Shepard's own beautiful wife consulted this lawyer one week ago, a visit Shepard knew nothing about. Will he help Alex Morse catch a killer? Or is he the next one to fall victim to a deadly trap of sex, lies, and murder?

I think part of the reason I ranked this book lower was because of the way the murders were taking place. There was a lot of technical jargon that kind of bogged the story down. There was also some weird connection thingy that kind of ruined the suspense for me. While I understand why it was in the book, I kind of wish it wasn't. The premise I thought was fantastic, however. I could only imagine being Dr. Shepard and getting a call that his wife may be planning his murder. This book was a chunkster, over 500 pages long, and I still thought the ending was a bit rushed. I don't want it to sound like I am picking on this book, because I really enjoyed it, it's just that usually Mr. Iles' books are out of this world great! I look forward to reading more of his books!

101. I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

I heard about this book from several reviewers and from some magazines as well. I have a love/hate relationships with some of Ms. Lippman's books, so when it finally came in for me from the library, I almost didn't read it. I am so glad I gave it a try... I was hooked from the start. I give the book an A-.

From Amazon:
Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects—or wants—to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.
In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her—and share the truth about his other victims.
Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do anything to protect it—even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.
An edgy, utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers racing to the final page, I'd Know You Anywhere is a virtuoso performance from acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Lippman that is sure to be her biggest hit yet.

I love how the story was told from the past and the present day. We the reader are allowed in to what happened with Eliza and Walter when she was 15 to the present day as he sits on death row. While not so much a suspense book (though I was dying to find out what Walter's plan was and what had happened to Eliza) I thought it was much more about relationships and how they affect our future relationships as well. This was really a great read and I found myself sneaking a few pages in whenever I had the chance. If you get the opportunity to read it, I say take it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

100. Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston

I picked up this book sheerly by accident. I was just browsing around at my library and I can't even remember what drew me to the book. Whatever it was I am glad that I gave it a try because it was a great book. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
Elinor Mackey has lived her life in perfect order: college, law school, marriage, successful corporate career. But suddenly her world is falling apart. In her late 30s, she's discovered that she and her podiatrist husband, Ted, can't have children. When Elinor withdraws from Ted into an interior world of heartbreak and anger, Ted begins an affair with Gina, the nutritionist at their gym--a young woman with an oddball son who adores Ted. Meanwhile, Elinor falls in love with the oak tree in her front yard, spreading out her sleeping bag to sleep under the stars. Gina's jealous ex-boyfriend--a charming alcoholic with a mean streak--becomes a dark presence as his passion turns to violence. Ted, who may be the only one who can help Gina and her son, suddenly finds himself in love with two women at the same time. In the tradition of Anne Tyler, John Cheever, and Tom Perotta, Winston's second novel looks beyond the manicured surface of suburbia to a world of loss, longing, lust, and betrayal.

While you would think that some of the characters would be really difficult to like, that wasn't the case. Ms. Winston does an excellent job of allowing the reader to see and explore the inner workings off all of the characters and their motivation for their actions. This story also hit a spot close to home with, infertility, and it has allowed me to be happier and more comfortable with my decision there. This was an enjoyable read that allowed for some laughs. despite the tough subjects. It was a very quick read and will have me checking out more by Ms. Winston in the future.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

99. More than Friends by Barbara Delinsky

I read about this book from someone else's blog and it sounded like a pleasant book without all of the thrills and chills of my usual books I read. I got it from my library and read it the entire way back from Pennsylvania. I am sure my mom was a little disappointed that we didn't get to talk more, but I was really engrossed in the story. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
The Maxwells and the Popes have been friends forever. The women were college roommates, their husbands are partners in the same law firm, their kids have grown up next door to each other, and the two families share both vacations and holidays.
All is beautiful and serene in their "perfect" shared suburban Eden—until a tragic accident forces these very close friends and neighbors to look more deeply beneath the surface. And when their idyllic lives are unexpectedly shattered by a moment that can never be erased or forgotten, their faith in one another—and in themselves—is put to the supreme test.

While the book was older, I didn't feel like it was dated. This was an interesting study of how people react to the same event and the tragic consequences that come of it. While at times it could seem a bit too good to be true, I really enjoyed the book and sped through it. I hope to read more of Ms. Delinsky's books in the near future!

98. Worst Case by James Patterson

As with all of Mr. Patterson's books, this one was a fast read. This past weekend I took a little road trip with my mom to Pennsylvania for a funeral and started Worst Case in the car. I had it finished 2 hours later. But that's one of the things that I like about Mr. Patterson's books... they are easy to read, entertaining, and quick! I give Worst Case a B.

From Amazon:
One by one, children of New York's wealthiest are taken hostage. But the criminal doesn't crave money or power--he only wants to ask the elite if they know the price others pay for their luxurious lifestyles. And, if they don't, he corrects their ignorance--by killing them.To Detective Michael Bennett, it becomes clear that these murders are linked and must be part of a greater, more public demonstration. With the city thrown into chaos, he is forced to team up with FBI agent Emily Parker, and the two set out to capture the killer before he begins his most public lesson yet--a deadly message for the entire city to witness.From the bestselling author who brought you the Alex Cross novels comes James Patterson's most action-packed series yet. With the heart-pounding suspense that only Patterson delivers, WORST CASE will leave you gasping for breath until the very end.

I have to admit, I really like the Michael Bennett character and his family. It's cute and something different. There's not too much to say here as the story is pretty routine for a Patterson book, but it was a nice way to pass a couple of hours in the car. I would never pay for one of his books and always get them from the library or at thift stores. If you like high action suspense, then pick this book up.

97. Killing Spree by Kevin O'Brien

Killing Spree is a book I have had on my shelves for who knows how long. Probably since it first came out, which was close to 4 years ago! It was a quick read and nice to get back into some suspense and thrills and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
When a serial killer gets a taste for blood...Years ago, the Seattle police were baffled by the Schoolgirl Murders. The killer staged the scenes, dressing his female victims in school girl uniforms and saddle shoes. No woman in Seattle felt safe, until they caught the man responsible, and the case was forgotten...He only wants to do one thing...Across the country, a killing spree is taking place. The first victim is attacked in a taxi by a mysterious stranger. The next is found strangled in a changing room. A hitchhiker is left by the side of the road, his identity brutally stolen. The murders are so bizarre, so random, no one would think to connect them...Kill and kill again...Only Seattle writer Gillian McBride sees the disturbing coincidences between all the murders - and it's hitting too close to home. Somehow, she is the link between past and present - and to a twisted serial killer who shows no signs of stopping. With each terrible piece of a sinister puzzle, a psychopath is carrying out a master plan - a killing spree that needs a final trophy to be fully complete...

The one thing I have to say is I hope this wasn't a follow up or sequel to a book about the Schoolgirl Murders because there were quite a few details about those murders given in the book. I tried skipping over some of it, but there were pages and pages and the conclusion of this book really gives it away. I will admit that I had the bad guy picked out from almost the start, but Mr. O'Brien does a great job of making you doubt yourself a few times. I will definitely be reading the rest of Mr. O'Brien's books I have!

96. Getting In by Karen Stabiner

I picked up Getting In off of my library's shelves. It sounded like a fun read and something I could somewhat relate to since I am in the educational field. It was a good read, even if it was a bit dry at times, and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Q: What does a parent need to survive the college application process?
A. A sense of humor.B. A therapist on 24-hour call.C. A large bank balance.D. All of the above.
Getting In is the roller-coaster story of five very different Los Angeles families united by a single obsession: acceptance at a top college, preferably one that makes their friends and neighbors green with envy. At an elite private school and a nearby public school, families devote themselves to getting their seniors into the perfect school--even if the odds are stacked against them, even if they can't afford the $50,000 annual price tag, even if the effort requires a level of deceit, and even if the object of all this attention wants to go somewhere else.
Getting In is a delightfully smart comedy of class and entitlement, of love and ambition, set in a world where a fat envelope from a top school matters more than anything . . . almost.

This was a good read, and I think both adults and teenagers would enjoy the book. Anyone who has had to deal with the pressures of the SATs or college applications I am sure could relate to the book. There was a lot of dry, dark humor but sometimes that's my favorite type! I also love to read about the "elite" private schools and the rich to see how the other half lives, so this book was right up my alley. You have to forgive me though, because I actually finished this book quite awhile ago and am having trouble remembering things I wanted to say. Oh well... that's life!

Friday, November 5, 2010

95. Now You See It

My reading has slowed down big time because I am currently working two jobs and have been crazy busy. I am still subbing, but also got a job that I work from home 7 days a week that I absolutely love, so when I finally do get the time to read, I am exhausted. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia recently, and the different medications I've been taking also make me tired. I hope to get some reading time in soon, though, as I really miss it. Now You See It is a book I picked out at the library and really wanted to like, but I just couldn't get excited about it. I give it a C+.

From Amazon:
David and Jessica have almost everything they could want: he is an accomplished journalist, she teaches at an elite private school, and they travel in a circle of alluring friends. Theirs is an enviable life -- until one night when David returns from a business trip. Jessica's wallet and keys are in their usual place, but she is gone. As months pass without her, David's certainty "that she is going to walk in that door tonight" slowly diminishes.
At the heart of this unnerving story is David's search for his wife -- which takes him far from his Manhattan neighborhood and deep inside himself.
At once heartbreaking and wry, Now You See It is a remarkable debut novel about the impossibility of fully knowing someone -- and what happens to the past when we have a second chance at the future. Now You See It presages a thrilling career for a fresh and gifted author.

I thought the book was a great idea, but I just couldn't get into it. There was a side story about David and a missing man in another country and while I understand the connection, I just thought it really didn't fit. I also felt that the ending was a bit unbelievable and all in all I was just disappointed. With my reading time being so limited right now, I was disappointed that I didn't get to enjoy a better book.