Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’
The dead of night
The Old West town of Lily, Arizona, is home to the Gilded Lily, a former theater and bawdy house. These days, it offers theatrical productions geared to tourists, but the recent discovery of a skull, a real skull, among the props and costumes shakes everyone up.
So, who do you call? The Krewe of Hunters, a special FBI unit of paranormal investigators. In this case, it’s agent Jane Everett. Jane is also a talented artist who creates images of the dead as they once were. But the Krewe always works with local law enforcement, and here that means Sloan Trent, former Houston cop and now sheriff. His great-great-grandmother was an actress at the Gilded Lily and she’s not resting in peace.
Then more remains appear in the nearby desert. As they search for answers, using all the skills at their disposal, Jane and Sloan find themselves falling into danger and into love.
I’ve read a couple of Heather Graham books. Both seasonal… I consider this a Halloweenish book. I read it around then and was in the spooky mood so I picked up a ghost book. Similar to An Angel for Christmas, Graham keeps you on your toes as you are reading. There are twists and turns throughout her writing. Just when you think you know what is coming next, you are completely thrown off course.
When you are trying to set the scene for this book, you really have to be in the Old Western mood. It is set in a tourist town where people come far and wide to learn the tales of the old west. They have a show to get you in the spirits and a sheriff who you would swear was plucked right out of the Wyatt Earp days. I listened to this on audio book, so the sheriff’s character was really portrayed more than if you read it yourself. Even if you have the most descriptive book ever written, you hear a voice and you feel like you know the character a lot better.
This was a fun little ghost story. You know it’s serious when the FBI ghost hunting squad is called in. Is there such thing??
I liked this book, but didn’t fall in love with it. I give The Night is Watching 3 out of 5 bookmarks. Also this is the 9th book in the series. So if you think it sounds interesting, there’s a whole slew of them out there for you. I love a good series. I also love when I am late to the game and have SEVERAL to read so I can read them back to back and not have to wait for the next one to come out
Holy cow! Happy December?? Where has the time gone? Good news, I’ve been super busy lately. Happily, I’ve started a new job at the station, doing what I love, content for the website and our social media pages. Squee!
I’ve also been doing some major reading. Don’t worry, I know I have a lot of blogging to be doing because I want to get caught up with all the books I read in 2013 before 2014 starts.
So, I haven’t been blogging a lot, but I’ve been busy doing a lot else, including hitting up the gym 3 times a week. Go me! Go me! Makes up for everything I’ve eaten in the past week, Thanksgiving only making up a small portion of that. Holidays make me hungry. What. Can. I. Say? I workout to eat… and be able to run from zombies in case of an apocalypse. My priorities are in line.
Our Christmas tree is up, I would say 90% of my Christmas shopping is done (whoah!), my Pandora radio is tuned into *N Sync Christmas and I’m ready to get buckled down into blogging this month.
Here’s a list of posts you can expect from me this month… and although I normally make these lists and never meet the deadlines, this month I will do my best.
The Night is Watching by Heather Graham
Heart of Ice by Lisa Wiehl
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
The Small Hand and Dolly by Susan Hill
Hereafter by Kate Brian
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak
Divergent by Veronia Roth (Reading now)
And whatever else I can get my grubby hands on by Jan. 1 and don’t forget my yearly “Favorites” post! I’m making my list and checking it twice.
Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to troll the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.
As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.
Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artisticcoup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris
I was so intrigued by this book. I’m a sucker for anything set in Paris, and this helped the craving I’ve been having lately for historical settings, and I’ve been on an artsy kick… not to mention King is known her a series involving Sherlock Holmes, whom I’ve been very infatuated with the past few years. As much as I love a fun, feel good story every now and then, I’ll always pick up a mystery first.
I think King had some major strengths in this book, including her description of Paris and the name dropping of the artists of the time. They all made appearances, and I found myself searching online to fact check what they were doing there and then. King did a lovely job of making me feel like I was there… and I’ll choose Paris any day.
However the mystery of this book fell flat for me. I felt the pace was slow and there were several times I thought about stopping reading, which I always try to avoid. It took me 11 days to get through this book. That is snail’s pace for me. I just couldn’t get into parts of it.
Also, this is the first go-round for some of the characters in this book. Some made an appearance in Touchstone, a 2007 book. Bennett Gray is the leading man in that book. There were a lot of questions I had about him in this read. I’m sure they were answered in the previous book. I wish that I would have been able to read it before starting this one.
I give The Bones of Paris 3 out of 5 bookmarks.
However, I will check out the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by King. Anything Sherlock gets a chance on my shelf.
At twenty-one, Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Catholic mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up in a gas station mini-mart and falling in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who willingly steps between the armed robber and her son.
Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.
Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, in a funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness,; about a virgin birth, a sacrifice, and a resurrection; about falling in love, and learning that things aren’t always what they seem—or what we hope they will be. It’s a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need.
Someone Else’s Love Story is the November selection on SheReads.org.
This book had ups and downs for me. It started off strong, then I lost a little interest, then it picked back up, A LOT, at the end. The beginning is intense and you can’t put the book down because you have to know what is going to happen. Then you have the making of a love story. Then at the end, let’s just say don’t give up on it. The end is worth it.
There were times I was on the edge of my seat, other times that I was frustrated, others that I cried… this book reached all of my emotions.
One thing I loved about this book was Jackson’s writing. She has a voice like I’ve never read before. It’s fresh and raw.
And she did such a great job with these characters. You have Shandi and her best friend Walcott. And you have William and his best friend Paula. As separates, they may not seem like they would be good pairs for each other, but they have bonds that are unbreakable and friendships that most don’t have with someone of the same sex. On that same line, you’re not going to find many situations where those friendships would be accepted. Throw a relationship in there and your partner may not be as willing to accept that third person into the fold. I loved how different these characters are. You have a student and mother, a poetry lover and loyal best friend, an “aut-astic” brawny genius, and a hard nosed attorney.
There are a couple of parts of this book that I really don’t want to spoil for you. But along with the surprise I mentioned earlier that I did like. One thing I did not like was how quickly the end of the book unfolded for Shandi. We wait the entire book to see where Shandi’s life will take her, and next thing you know, boom, it’s done… in just a couple of pages. Maybe I would have liked an epilogue. I don’t like to be left hanging.
I give Someone Else’s Love Story 4 out of 5 bookmarks.
Click here to see what some of my SheReads.org pals are saying about this book!
In her latest novel Mary Higgins Clark, the beloved, bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” exposes a dark secret from a family’s past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years.
The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn’t who he claims to be?
Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in the hospital badly injured and in a coma, so neither can tell what drew them there, or what the tragedy may have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years, nor can they warn that somebody may be covering his tracks, willing to kill to save himself . . .
Step by step, in a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international bestsellers for years. She presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer .
No matter what audio books I’ve found while perusing the shelves at the library, if I find a Mary Higgins Clark book I’ve not listened to, I put down what I have and pick the MHC book up. I can’t help it. I absolutely love her mysteries. I love the web of characters and story lines, the twists and turns, the suspense and trying to figure out who the bad guy really is. And I always pick several wrong guys before I get the right one.
Daddy’s Gone a Hunting is no different. It starts with an explosion, a death, a family ripped apart decades ago and trying to find out who, of the many, would want to hurt this family today. But along the way, you also have a missing aspiring actress from decades ago, a drunk and homeless veteran, and a host of 20 to 30 somethings trying to make their way in the world. I really liked the characters and story lines. But as I get with every book by MHC, there’s one story line I like best and that’s the one I want more of. If I would have read this book and not listened to it, I imagine I would have skimmed through parts until I found what I wanted. I guess that’s the luxury of an audio book. I didn’t have that option and was forced to listen. In the long run, it’s best that way. It completes the web in her novels.
I will have to say that I am very proud of myself. I have read (or listened to) several of MHC’s books and eventually, I figure out who the bad guy/gal is, but this book, I nailed it much earlier than most. I was quite proud of the accomplishment (it’s the little things). But one of the things that I love about these books is that even when I figured it out, I was even more intrigued to keep reading. I wanted to know why, and how it would all eventually unfold.
If you are looking for a quick suspense read, definitely pick up Daddy’s Gone a Hunting. I give the book 5 out of 5 bookmarks.