Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jo Nesbo writes another excellent thriller

Harry Hole returns to Oslo to attempt to clear the name of the boy, Oleg, who he helped raise. Oleg is accused of murder and is being held by the police.

To follow the trail of the murderer, Harry becomes involved in the Oslo drug trade. He has learned that the murdered boy, Gusto, was known as a drug dealer.

There is also a side story with an alternative point of view as the reader experiences Gusto's life and how he came to his death.

In the story, Harry deals with a number of memorable characters and it is difficult for the reader to determine who is honest and who is not. Even members of the police are suspects.

Since the police could be involved, it is difficult for Harry to find someone to trust and to help him. The reader has to feel for his plight and wonder how he could succeed.

The author has many surprises and where some readers are able to guess at who the killer might be, this novel is unique that it is impossible to tell who is Gusto's murderer.

The conclusion is powerful and the reader is left with the uncertainty of Harry Hole's fate.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Murder in Sydney in a suspenseful plot.

Harry Hole, inspector from Oslo is sent to Sydney to observe a murder investigation of a case involving a high profile case of a young woman from Norway.

He is assigned to work with the Sydney police but not take an active role. Andrew Kingston of the police unit will act as his escort during Harry's stay. Andrew is an Aborigine who has overcome much in his life. He is also a story teller and tells tales of the history of his people during the downtime in the investigation.

As the men work with other members of the crime squad they come across a number of interesting characters. In particular, I enjoyed a man who was a transvestite who worked in a traveling circus.

The investigation uncovers that other women in the same description of the Norwegian girl have been murdered in the same manner so that they believe a serial killer is at work.

We learn more of the Australian history and legends during the story and this adds to the interest and lessens the suspense that is mounting.

The pacing is swift and Harry meets a young woman and they form a romantic relationship. Harry tells her of his days in Oslo and the reason that he has to stay away from alcohol since he was driving a car after drinking and his partner was killed in the accident that followed.

I enjoyed the story and felt that the info on Sydney and the history of the people was very well written. I was disappointed to see that Harry wasn't able to live up to the heroic person I imagined he would become. The frailty of Harry's resolve and the human failings of other characters is well played in the novel.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Serial Mystery that's fun

"Inherit the Dead" is a serial novel with twenty bestselling authors adding their input to the development of the story.

The cast of mystery writers is impressive with such notable writers as John Connolly and Mary Higgins Clark. Reading their take on the progress of the story is an interesting concept.

Disgraced former NY Homicide detective turned PI Pericles "Perry" Christo is hired by a Manhattan socialite to find her missing daughter, Angel. The daughter needs to sign forms for her inheritance prior to her twenty-first birthday. The socialite also hasn't had a relationship with her daughter and tells Perry she wants to reconcile.

The daughter has been living in Long Island with her father and has been missing. The father lives in the Hampton s and doesn't seem worried, neither does a number of her past boyfriends. At the same time, someone is following Perry with an deadly agenda of their own.

Perry has a daughter about the same age as Angel and feels empathy for Angel but knows he's not being told the truth by the other characters. He's pulled deeper into the plot and only has one old friend from his New York police days who helps.

The plot has been done before but seeing the various authors input into it is fun.

I enjoyed the descriptions of New York and the social scene, even one of the characters who had a butler named Jeeves.

I think mystery fans will enjoy this book.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well written literary mystery

It is a joy to pick up a book and enjoy an excellent reading experience from the first page to the conclusion.

Being an author and attempting to have a second novel published, I understand the difficulty in finding an agent and publisher.

In this story, Jo Donovan is the owner of a successful literary agency. One day she is stopped on the street by a man calling himself Sam Spade. He demands her attention and promises that his novel is the new big thing, the best novel in ages and that she will be overwhelmed by its excellence.

The man is so pushy that one of Jo's employees has to help her remove herself from the man's assertive manner and he threatens the employee because of it.

Later, Jo attends a literary function and her laptop is separated from her baggage for a time before it is located. Soon after, many of Jo's clients begin getting letters that their novels have been approved or other good news, all of this written by someone wanting to do Jo harm. This is also humiliating and disappointing to the clients.

Other events follow and Jo comes to fear for her safety. She brings the police into the investigation and a friend who is a FBI profiler. Then a murder occurs and the suspense escalates.

The author, Barbara Rogan has an excellent feel for New York and what goes on in the publishing industry.

The plot is refreshing and the characters are just what a reader would imagine would be in the publishing industry with the gala events and buildings with doormen. The entire story was a joy to read.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Left me hanging

This was my first experience with reading a Matt Hilton novel and the suspense was breathtaking. However, there is such a reliance on the evil of the villain, Tubal Cain, a.k.a. Martin Maxwell, a.k.a. The Harvestman, that I had a feeling that he would be like Freddy Krueger of the Halloween movies and somehow survive. His character also reminded me of Hannibal Lecter.

The writing was crisp but the dialogue seemed done before and it was difficult to see the difference between characters since they all had a similar speech pattern.

The central character, Joe Hunter, was likened to Jack Reacher on the jacket cover  but I failed to see the resemblance. Hunter is a much more flawed character, his reflexes are sometimes less than what a reader would expect and he seemed gullible at times. Reacher is the ultimate professional.

I enjoy reading thrillers but the group of evil men in this book were unintelligent and foolish in much of their behavior in leaving themselves open to attack and failure to anticipate consequences.

Up to the conclusion, the plot did get my attention but the conclusion was disappointing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Ferry nice mystery

"The Sound and the Furry" is a new mystery with private investigator Bernie Little and his intelligent canine partner, Chet.

The story is set in the bayou area of Louisiana. Bernie is asked to find the missing brother of a man he, Bernie, helped put in jail. The brother is as straight as an arrow. He's the one good thing in the mixed-up family but now he's missing and the family fears the worst.

When Bernie and his partner arrive in this town outside of New Orleans, we also find that there is a type of clan war between that family and another which dates back to the Civil War or before.

This is a closed family and the reader is made aware of the struggles with shrimp fishing and dealing with the rival family.

There is also the fact of dead birds being found on the bayou and the new oil platform getting ready to go into production.

The book gives a good look at the backwards community, their politics, their love of music and the corruption existing around them.

Bernie is an interesting and unique private investigator who is smart and has integrity. What makes the story different is Chet, the canine, interpreting what action is taking place and Chet's ability to understand people.

I enjoyed the story and the characters. The conclusion was appropriate and I look forward to more adventures of the Little Detective Agency.

Monday, October 14, 2013

About me

In my fight against lung cancer, last Friday was a high and low point.

Began a new series of treatment at the Smilow Cancer clinic in New Haven but was at the hospital from 10:45 until almost 7 pm.

First saw the oncologist and learned that my tests from earlier in the week, looked good, no cancer growth in the bone.
Next up to the 8th floor:  first give blood and urine so they can test bodily functions
                                      then after analysis by doctors, they contact the pharmacy
                                      the pharmacy puts together the meds on this new program, takes over an hour
                                      two hours for the infusion and then, since this was the first time on this med, had to stay and extra hour for observation. They wanted to make sure I didn't go into shock or anything....

Very unnerving and I ended up as the last patient there.

Glad it's see about the side effects of the new meds.

Timely thriller

Readers looking for a page turner with an up to the minute topic should enjoy "Hidden Order" by Brad Thor. The excitement and contemporary story will have the reader jump with excitement.

CIA operative Lydia Ryan meets with the deputy chief of Jordan General Intelligence and learns of a plot being hatched against the US FED.

The head of the FED has died and there are five candidates for succession. Who is selected could change the US monetary system and payments to other countries. The stability of this organization could maintain the status of the world economy.

The five candidates become missing and Lydia Ryan and Bob McGee, agency operative, try to find them and stop any plot.

Scott Horvath is assigned to look into the missing FED candidates and  finds the first victim's body was located at Jekyll Island. He found a book on the island and learned some secrets behind the FED and why it is disliked by many people.

The plot moves along intelligently with enough facts about the Federal Reserve to make the story believable and worthy of our attention. Readers are made aware of the powers of the Fed and what would happen if the plot were to succeed. We also learn the connection to leaders of the Revolution and this glance at American history enhances the story even more.

The story is a thriller, yes, but also a look between various intel agencies. I enjoyed the characters and the look at history and reading a very exciting story.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wonderful descriptions of Vermont and Hurricane Irene

This is an excellent book that I can't say enough about.

Having gone to college in Vermont, long ago, and lived there for five years, Archer Mayor's depicts the life and area as if I was back in college and experiencing everything first hand.

If the reader is looking for something where characters are getting ready for an approaching disaster, they'll find it in "Three Can Keep a Secret."

As the first part begins, we see that the disaster readiness people are going through but as waters rise, some people begin doing foolish things.

Water causes a cemetery to be upturned and one grave is found with a coffin filled with rocks and not a dead body. This is the first portion of the mystery.

In a side story, the state hospital has patients beginning to be evacuated but one patient walks off on her own. She's a simple woman but knows things about what happened in the state, long ago, and this involves some important people.

The characters are very real and it seems as if the reader is immediately immersed in the history of the state and the storm's effects on the inhabitants.

The conclusion is well written and intelligent. It is something the reader will remember.

Friday, October 4, 2013

An early work from one of our masters

In "Heaven's Prisoners" it is easy for the reader to picture the Louisiana landscape and the culture existing in the New Orleans and New Iberia area due to the wonderful writing and descriptions of James Lee Burke.

The characters Burke depicts rise up from the pages and it seems as if the reader is in the same room as they are, or sitting on a edge of a bayou, discussing the body of a young woman whose murdered body has just been found by a poor fisherman.

Dave Robicheaux is one of the most respected and admired detectives in modern mystery novels.  His belief in himself and his fellow men is admirable as is his goal of wanting to do well for the less fortunate.

Dave and his wife Annie are on their boat when a plane crashes into the water. Dave saves a little six-year-old girl who is the only survivor.  Dealing with the saved child and the circumstances in which she was aboard the plane make up much of the story.

There is excellent characterization in a well plotted story with a number of twists and surprises that the reader will never forget.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading
Broken Promise