When an author has a successful series, often the later books don't seem as compelling or interesting as the earlier ones which made you a fan. Not so with Lee Child. "Make Me" starts out slowly and builds, and kept me turning pages until the very surprising end. Jack Reacher, decides to get off his Chicago bound train at a stop called "Mother's Rest." Intrigued by the name and the small size of the town, surrounded by wheat fields in every direction, he plans to spend a day or two checking it, out then leave. He learns quickly he is not welcome. His room at the local motel is constantly being observed and when he walks around town he knows he's being followed. Michelle Change, former FBI agent and current private investigator, mistakes Reacher for an associate she has been waiting for. He had gone on ahead and now he's missing. Reacher is interested in her story and teams up with her in her search. They leave Mother's Rest with the intention of returning when they have more information. They collaborate with a journalist who has been contacted many times with a bizarre story by a caller who the journalist has deemed delusional. But was he? It turns out his story is even stranger than first thought. The three of them work closely to discover a nightmare only the most warped mind could develop. Reacher is getting older but he can still win a fight when outnumbered and there are plenty of such scenes throughout. The complete story is not revealed until the last pages and you will say, "wow, what a ride!"
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Mary Higgins Clark passed away while finishing this book with Alafair Burke. I read it knowing there would be no more from her, and her last effort still showed she had the talent to keep her readers in suspense. Laurie Moran, the producer of a popular television show, "Under Suspicion," is about to be married to Alex Buckley. She, her son Timmy, and other family members gather for their wedding in the Hamptons. Seven-year-old Johnny, her fiance's nephew, is kidnapped during a beach outing. When he is not immediately found, wedding plans are cancelled and an all-out effort ensues to find him. Laurie's father Leo, a retired police officer who now hold a special position with the New York Police Dept. has his own troubles. A convicted murderer, who confessed his crime to Leo, is trying to get a new trial, saying that Leo lied and he is really innocent. Could he be behind the kidnapping as an act of revenge? Also, Johnny is an adopted child. Is it possible his birth mother now wants him back and she is behind the kidnapping? As Laurie and her family pursue various dead-ends, Johnny' s life is in the balance the longer he is gone. There are twists and turns along the way that will keep you guessing. Anyone who has read Ms. Clark knows that her books always have a satisfying ending. This one will too but you'll wonder when.
Friday, October 30, 2020
I'm addicted to this series, although by the tenth book, there is a certain sameness to the story line. Kathleen Doyle, redhead, Irish, charming, and Michael Acton, handsome, aloof, aristocrat, and Doyle's superior in Scotland Yard, not to mention also her husband. They work together to solve the many murders that seem to be occurring all around them, along with a cast of interesting characters. Acton is secretive but Doyle has unusual abilities to perceive what he is trying to hide. After many twists and turns, and references to previous plots in earlier books, this one ends in a surprise. A very entertaining series and I'm ready to start #11.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
I've been a fan of Anne Cleeland since I began reading her Scotland Yard series, set in current time. "Tainted Angel" is the first of her historical fiction books I've read. Set in the time of Napoleon, we meet Invidia (or Libby, or Lina) a spy for England, or is it France? Hard to tell throughout the book. Her cohorts are also questionable. Are they with her, or against her? When the handsome, recent widower, Lucien Carstairs sets his sights on her, she can't resist. But is he only doing it to gain secrets, or does he really care? This confusion continues throughout the novel, finally resolving in the last pages. Having read most of her Scotland Yard series, I found it interesting that many of the expressions her British characters use were also used by the characters in "Tainted Angel." Since expressions are a reflection of the time they're in, and their locale, I considered this to be a flaw in this book. If you like historical fiction, and don't mind spy/counterspy stories, you would probably like this one. I think I'll stick to her Scotland Yard series.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first book I've read in the series. It is supposed to stand alone but I found it difficult to understand certain characters because the comments made about them did not provide any background to make them understandable. The story takes place in the fictional southern California town of Rocky Bluff, placed near Ventura and Santa Barbara. It unfolds through the experiences of the police officers who work there as they investigate the mysterious death of an elderly man and try to capture a rapist who has viciously attacked two women. The department has a new chief, a black woman. The officers under her command have their own personal problems and worry about how she will make changes that will negatively affect them. The story bounced around. It had many inaccuracies that needed to be edited, such as sentences that were repetitious and the same question asked of a character more than once, with a different answer each time. Probation and parole were treated as though they were one and the same when they are two completely separate functions in California. Officer Ryan, married to Barbara (a widow with three boys) is ready to leave her because she is having a baby with Downs Syndrome. When he forces himself to see the newborn she looks beautiful to him and he is happy that she looks "normal." Barbara can't leave the hospital until the doctor has finished testing the baby to see what her limitations will be. If she has many limitations, will Ryan decide to run? Yet the author never gives us the answer. Gordon, who is constantly referred to as having problems (but never identified) wants to marry officer Lisette. She believes that if she marries another officer she will lose her job. She thinks the new chief frowns on relationships between two officers. However, Doug and Stacey, are both officers and are married. They are not losing their jobs. Why doesn't Lisette notice that? Sorry to say I was not impressed with this book and can't recommend it.
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Friday, June 12, 2020
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Monday, May 4, 2020
Who killed Kate? It takes over 600 pages to find this out and then the conclusion is blurred by events I won't discuss here so as not to ruin this for a new reader. Iles writes well and drags us through the life of Penn Cage, upstanding citizen in Natchez, but trouble to the sheriff and the district atttorney. When his good friend Dr. Drew Elliott is accused of murdering beautiful high school senior Kate, Penn knows he's innocent and risks life and limb to prove it. Even when he finds out forty something Drew was in love with seventeen year old Kate, planned to leave his wife and move to Boston with her while she attended Harvard. Even when he learns that Kate was pregnant and that Drew found her dead body but never reported it. Nevertheless, Drew is arrested and charged with murder, a double homicide since Kate was pregnant. Interesting, since she could have had an abortion and that would have been legal. Penn's teenage babysitter, Mia, a friend of Kate's and knowledgeable in all things sexual about the girls at school, educates Penn on the drug use and sexual activity that is commonplace in their private high school. Although Penn is shocked that Drew could be involved with such a young girl, risking everything for her, Penn finds himself also attracted to Mia. The story sinks lower as he and Mia become sleuths together, viewing Drew and Kate's porno videos in their quest to find the real murderer. Several dead bodies later, Drew is convicted of murder, and Penn ramps up his effort to find the real culprit, leading to a conclusion that is convoluted, leaving questions about the whole mess. This could be a B movie.
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