Monday, October 26, 2015

Silken Prey

Lucas Davenport gets mixed up with politics when he's asked to investigate the accusation of child porn on a wealthy political candidate.

Even though the governor is on the opposing party, something about the convenience of the discovery of the accusation so soon before the election doesn't seem right.

The race for the US Senate is a toss up and one of the participants is a wealthy young woman with a campaign staff that doesn't hesitate when asked to perform dirty tricks.. However one of the characters wants more money for his deeds and then goes missing.

The plot is tight and the story is fresh and since it is election time, the story is very timely.

Davenport and his team are working hard to identify the person who committed the dirty trick. When murder is added to the mix,  the reader is in hope that they can be stopped prior to the responsible winning an election they didn't deserve.

Davenport is a top notch and with each story we learn more about him and his family. He's a man of integrity but his primary job is to catch those responsible for the dirty tricks and to reveal what happened to the man who has a reputation for being political. He's been a bag man and Lucas believes he's come to a bad end but there's no proof. Then, there is another murder...

"Silken Prey" is one more story from one of the masters, John Sandford. This story kept my attention and I was sad when I had to put the book down to do something else.

The Legend of Vince Flynn Lives On

This action packed suspense novel picks up where "The Last Man" leaves off.

I was sad to learn of the death of Vince Flynn.  Kyle Mills picked up on the Mitch Rapp adventures and did a nice job in carrying on his legacy.

In this episode, CIA Operative Mitch Rapp and his team are called to action to stop an intelligence leak that could become a disaster for the CIA and the USA.

Disgruntled star agent Joseph "Rick" Rickmann stole an information file with the leading US agents and their international contacts.  He has been killed after his treacherous past comes to light, but instructs his contact to release the deadly information one at a time to heighten the damage and embarrass the CIA.  Mitch has to find where the information is being leaked from and stop it.  He also needs to learn who is disseminating the information.

Well done and lots of action.   And the conclusion is satisfying.

You've Gotta Have Heart" Song lyrics

"Blood Work" by Michael Connelly is one of my all time favorite books.  The plotting is excellent and the central character, retired FBI agent Terrell McCaleb is sympathetic and the story is addictive.
McCaleb is enjoying retirement while living on his fishing boat.  A woman approaches him and requests his help to find her sister's murderer.
When he tells her he can't because of his heart transplant, she responses, yes, it is my sister's heart.  It is keeping you alive and I think you'd want to find her killer.
He agrees and begins a search putting pieces of an intricate puzzle together that leads to the killer.
Nothing is straight forward in Connelley's novels.  Along the way police receive an anonymous call and suddenly McCaleb becomes the main suspect.  The evidence he was collecting is viewed as evidence of the crimes.
The book starts off with a bang and continues to a strong conclusion.
Highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother

Billy and Ray Johnson were brothers that had the usual brotherly spats but also suffered abuse.

When Billy is found, the reader assumes that it was by someone who watched him crawl down the road by his house. The misery is described but Ray's reaction seems cold and matter of fact.

This sorrowful picture and writing style reminded me of Erskine Caldwell's "God's Little Acre." That book chronicles a family in rural Georgia. "Billy Dead" takes place in the country back roads of small town Michigan.

The Johnson family are unsympathetic. They were hellions and were disliked.

Ray continues with his life as sheriff Keith McCutcheon investigates the murder. We see the reaction of other family members to Billy's death but there isn't any display of sorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Roses aren't always red

Luther Ewing, aka, Five O brings his unique b  background to his job as a cop on the Baltimore County P.D. narcotics  division. This is a contemporary location with the controversy in Baltimore recently after the shooting of a black man by the police.

Luther an ex-Special Forces sharpshooter with experience in Bosnia. In "Red Rain" Luther is working with his crew in narcotics and he comes across evidence that something is different on the streets. It's a feeling that experienced agents tend to get.

Vasilly is a Russian who is bringing vast amounts of drugs into the Baltimore area and ready to begin selling the drugs on the street. His drug cartel begins making headway and Luther's life and routine changes.

There is good dialogue in the story in what the reader can imagine  taking place. There is also realistic descriptions of what life must be like on the streets. 

It might be the way things are but many of the characters had nicknames and with this I had difficulty in determining who was who and what side they characters were on.

The bodies mount up and there are a number of plot twists that keep things unpredictable. I liked the suspense in a story of people at the edge of society-many who have little to redeem them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A look at old time Brooklyn

From the writer of "Second Street Station," comes a new adventure of Mary Handley who was the first female police officer in Brooklyn.

Mary wants to become an official detective instead of only being called on for certain cases.  She gets her first case when Emily Wortham believes that her uncle was murdered and wants Mary to look into it.

Once again, the reader has the enjoyment of seeing Mary rub shoulders with such notables as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. She attends a lecture by Benjamin Franklin and shares experiences with John D. Rockefeller and George Vanderbilt.

There are discussions of the political events of the time, concerning New York and Brooklyn. In this regard, I was impressed that at this time, Brooklyn was one of the largest municipalities in the United States.

A woman is murdered and Mary investigates this case which became personal to her when her brother was accused of the crime.

There are lots of historical references and a gutsy protagonist in Mary. As I read the story I considered what some of the TV female detectives like Beckett on Castle or the female detectives on shows like Law and Order owed to a character like Mary, who started it all.

I enjoyed the story and reading about a protagonist like Mary.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blue Monday How I hate Blue monday" Lyrics

Detective Jeremy Perez of the Shetland Islands Police Department believes he is coming to the Fair Isles to introduce his fiancee Fran to his parents and friends. .

There is a celebratory atmosphere until a woman's body is discovered by the Fair Isles Bird Observatory.

It's a small island and everyone knows the victim but no one can believe that anyone would want to harm her.

Jeremy questions many people people looking for clues and the reader experiences a murder mystery set among the bird watching community.It's a good juxtaposition of a living hobby and a murder.Then the body of another woman is found.

I enjoyed the audio book read by Gordon Griffin and his Scottish accent and calm description of the action.

Ann Cleeves keeps the reader guessing.  She does a good job in describing the scenes and the characters.

I felt myself trying to imagine what I would do if I was in a similar situation and trying to guess who the killer might be.

There was good suspense in the story and a surprising twist when discovering the killer.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Take me Back to my Red River Valley" Lyrics

"Redye Fulda Cold" tells of another military adventure of the likable Bill Fortin who
served in the U.S. Army 3rd Armor Division from 1968 to 1970.

Fortin and his unit take part in a little known conflict pitted against an invasion force from Russia.

As a reader of military action stories, I've enjoyed a number of excellent military adventures.

After enjoying the singular accomplishments of Dewey Anderson in a modern day conflict against the Russian Mafia in "Independence Day," then read of Scott Harvath in action in the Republic of Congo in "Code of Conduct."

"Redeye Fulda Cold" provides a good change of pace for the reader of military adventure who enjoys action in the 1960s to 1970. As I was in active service from 1967-1970, I felt something in common with the solciers in this story. I tried to imagine myself in the same circumstances as Fortin and wondered how I would have acted.

The story is described realistically and was an enjoyable read.

Tell me why

Dr. David Beck lost his wife eight years ago. Her body was discovered by the roadside and serial killer Elroy Kellroy was arrested for her murder.

During the following eight years, Beck tried to get on with his life and his medical practice. Then, officials reopened the case and Beck became the main suspect.

Harlan Coben does a fine job in setting the scenario and creating believable characters. Beck is a good man and we want to root for him but he's faced with some very evil opponents.

Beck takes some steps during the story that result in previous supporters turning against him. Eventually, he's left with few people totally supporting him.

It is easy for the reader to imagine what they would do in similar circumstances as Beck was faced with. There is also a secondary story being told at the same time. Then, just when it seems the reader can figure out what is happening, there is a surprise that Coben adds to increase the interest and keep us guessing.

This is an excellent story that was also made into a movie.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Make Me, Just Try It

Lee Child has a talent for creating nail biting suspense. In this psychological novel, Child demonstrates a nail biting story sprinkled a touch of romance.

Jack Reacher is traveling around the countryside - just for the experience. After his days in the military, he gets satisfaction by traveling around America and helping people in need, when necessary.

He comes to a town Mother's Rest. It's a desolate town set among the wheat fields with nothing much to offer other than a train station.

Reacher meets Michelle Chang a former FBI agent, now a private investigator. She's looking for her partner who had been hired to look into some secret of Mother's Rest but has now disappeared.

The story unfolds out as if it was written for Alfred Hitchcock. The town is hiding something and Jack and Michelle team up and retrace the steps of Michelle's missing partner to learn about the person who hired them.

The townsfolk they encounter are unhelpful and closed mouth. It was as if Jack and Michelle ran into a mid-western version of "The Valley of the Dolls"

As Reacher and Michelle peel back the hidden layers of the story, the suspense mounts and the secret being hidden comes to a frightening light.

This is a well told story with well described characters placed in a situation where the reader can relate to and wonder what they  might do if they were ever in a similar situation.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Along came a spider and sat down beside her...

Written by David Lagercrantz and narrated by Simon Vance
Here again is Lisbeth Salander, hacker, from a sadistic father and yet, heroic and brainy beyond imagination.
She's asked by her old friend Michael Blomkvist to help with a child who is a savant.  He's witnessed a murder, but the killer allows him to live because the killer didn't think he could communicate.
However, the boy had an outstanding ability to draw and Lisbeth brings out his skill -  thus displaying an image of the killer whose boss now wants the boy dead.  (Because he's a witness.)
There are other hackers at work and a mole within the government service.
Blomkvist is trying to write a story about the killers at work including a mysterious woman.
This is one of the most suspenseful books I've I've enjoyed this year.  And Salander is one of the best protagonists.

Love and Marriage go together like a horse and carriage

Meg Langslow's summer plans are filled with summer engagements.  She returned to her small Virginia hometown to be a bridesmaid for three weddings: her mother, her brother and for her best friend.
Early on she meets Michael Walterson, Professor of Theater, at a nearby college.  He was managing his mother's dress making shop.  Michael and Meg hit it off immediately.
There's not much controversy in the story except dealing with Meg's best friend Eileen complaints that her fiance Steven complains about including the Native American heritage purification ceremony in the wedding.  I can just imagine reacting to something like this in Virginia.
Then one of the characters if found dead and the sheriff comes to investigate and suspicion spreads.
The family relationships were interesting to view and how their personal connections can become upset.
Meg was resilient and interesting as a main character who can be respected.
The murder is a minor detail and the character who murdered is a bit obnoxious and unlikable.  Not much of an affect on the main part of the story or the three weddings.

One Not To Miss

In a change in literary direction Tess Gerritsen has written an enchanting historical novel.
The story is wrapped with the kind of characters who are interesting, and have a tale to tell, one that the reader will enjoy.
Julia Ansdell is a beautiful woman, she is an accomplished musician and purchases a piece of music at an antique store in Rome.
While playing the music at her home, there is an incident between her 3 year old daughter and the family cat.  This puts a scare in Julia and sets the tone for the remainder of the story.
Thereafter, the story is told in two parts, in current time and around WWII in Italy.
In Italy there is a family of musicians with a love of music, and of Italy.  There is a competition upcoming and they are preparing for it, but are concerned if they will be allowed to perform due to questions about their heritage.
Julia feels drawn to the music of the composer.  She begins investigating the origin of the music and the family.
We follow the Brownshirts and the family encounters with them and a particular Colonel who has a private agenda.
Gerritsen writes with an intimate flourish as if revealing parts of her own family.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Friction is stranger than Fract

This complex story opens dramatically with Texas Ranger, Crawford Hunt, at family court. He hopes to gain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Georgia. Georgia had been under the custody of her maternal grandparents, Joe and Grace Gilroy.

Conrad took the death of his wife Beth very hard and knew he needed help with his daughter at that time but things have changed. However, Joe Gilroy is fighting for maintaining custody because he feels that Crawford is reckless.

A man dressed to cover his face bursts into the courtroom and attempts to kill the judge, Holly Spencer. Hunt is able to kick the assailant but not before another man is killed. Then there is a shootout on the roof of the courthouse and the gunman is killed.

This powerful start sets the tone of the story. Judge Spencer and Crawford are drawn to each other in an irresistible manner. Crawford is heroic in his actions and it seems as if there will be an easy transition to have Georgia moved to his custody.  Then there is a major discovery and the plot shifts.

Another killer is sought and authorities question any possible motives.

The plot is well written and both Crawford and Judge Spencer are characters who the reader can identify with and imagine consider what would happen if they were in a similar situation. The setting seems realistic but Some of the minor characters could have used more development but overall a good story with good chemistry between the major characters.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading
Broken Promise