Monday, June 26, 2017

Night Watch/Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen/342 pgs.

Kendra Michaels was born blind, and as a result, spent the first twenty years of her life in darkness. It wasn't until she was accepted into a trial study program with Dr. Charles Waldridge that her life changed drastically. His experimental operation on Kendra was a success--she was able to see for the first time in her life. Fast forward around ten years later, when Dr. Waldridge unexpectedly shows up at a conference in which Kendra is the speaker. They have dinner, but during the evening Kendra gets the feeling Dr. Waldridge is withholding something from her. The next day, Kendra is called in by the police--Dr. Waldridge is missing. Kendra has astute investigative skills, and calls in Adam Lynch, an agent-for hire, to help her unravel the mystery of Dr. Waldridge's disappearance. There is more going on under the surface than a random missing person case, and the Johansens take the reader on a wild ride throughout the story. Highly recommended.

The Devil's Triangle/Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison/495 pgs.

This is the latest Nicholas Drummond and Michaela (Mike) Caine series entry, and it's a doozy! Nicholas and Mike are FBI agents working the U.S. government's Covert Eyes operation--the best of the best in defeating criminals nationally and internationally. They are contacted by Kitsune (the Fox), an international criminal they have dealt with before. Her husband has been kidnapped, and she needs Nicholas's and Mike's help to get him back. That might not be so bad if her husband wasn't kidnapped by a pair of psychotic twins who are seeking the Ark of the Covenant. It's a fast paced story with some interesting turns, and a satisfactory conclusion. I think it's one of the best ones in the series, so far. Recommended!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter / Kate Clifford Larson / 320 pgs

What an amazing book all about the Kennedys, but specifically on Rosemary and her heartbreaking life. Rosemary was a beautiful young lady who, unfortunately, never progressed beyond a 4th grade intellect, and who was prone to outbursts and temper tantrums. Her parents moved her from school to school, never really telling the schoolmasters about Rosemary's issues, just leaving it to them to find out. In 1941, Joe Kennedy learned of a newer procedure that would cure people with social and intellectual problems, what we now know as a frontal lobotomy. The lobotomy left Rosemary with almost no speaking or physical capabilities. Over time, she did get better physically, but she was never the same as she was before 1941.

Her story is wrenching and her parents were just so uncaring and preoccupied with political ambition. Towards the end of the book, the reader does start to feel a bit better after learning about the work of Eunice and the oodles of money that were donated to causes for mentally challenged people by Joe, Rose, and the Kennedy children and grandchildren. Still, it seems one person's life had to be sacrificed to help so many other lives. A great book if you want to start to learn about the inner workings of the Kennedy family.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Murder in the Bowery/ Victoria Thompson / 295 pgs

Murder in the Bowery is the 20th book in the Gaslight Mystery series. This series is set in very late 1890s New York City. The two main characters throughout the series are Sarah, a midwife, and Frank, a policeman. These books are quick reads that I would characterize as cozy historical mysteries. I love the historical setting but as the series has gone on the mysteries are beginning to feel the same to me and the main group of characters seem to live perfect lives where nothing ever goes wrong in their relationships. Still, I've kept up on the series because it's like visiting old friends. In this book, Frank is asked to find a young newsboy who has gone missing. Meanwhile Sarah is intent on buying an old house to turn into a maternity hospital. If this series interests you, I recommend starting at the beginning.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rogue with a brogue / Suzanne Enoch / 492 pages

  This is Book 2 of the Scandalous Highlanders series.  Because the succeeding books refer to the plot action in this book, it is good to read in order.  Basically, the second brother, Arran, falls for the daughter of an enemy clan.  It is like Hatfield's and McCoy's feud. The year is 1817.  Most of the book is about the escape from London back to Scotland and how the two come to fall in love.  It is really interesting.  Arran is a very good lead character.  My only complaint is that he drawls when he speaks and while this is not a problem in a book, I don't even want to imagine and hear it in my mind.  There are four books in the series so it is sadly coming to an end.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

One Perfect Lie/Lisa Scottoline/355 pgs.

One Perfect Lie starts out with a bang, but starts to fizzle half way through the story. Posing as a high school government teacher, Chris Brennan infiltrates the community of Central Valley. He is also hired as the assistant baseball coach, which gives him the opportunity to observe which high school boy will be ideal for the undertaking he has in mind. There are plot twists and turns, but I didn't feel that the last half of the book lived up to the gripping beginning. That said, I would still recommend it, because I had to know how the story line came together!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Heart-Shaped Box/ Joe Hill / 376 pgs

I decided to step outside my usual reading genres and give horror a try. I've always loved horror movies but never really got into reading the books. A colleague recommended this one. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me.

Jude Coyne is an aging rock star, sort of an Ozzy Osbourne-type, who decides to buy a ghost off an eBay-like site to add to his occult collection. I thought this was a fantastic concept for a book but the execution just didn't work for me. I didn't care for Jude and while I could see that the ghost elements "should" be creepy and scary, they just weren't for me. I spent the first 2/3 of the book kind of wishing the vindictive ghost would get Jude, even though I wasn't terribly invested in the ghost either. The latter half held my interest a little better but I found the ending--and the fact that those closest to Jude paid more of a price than he did--unsatisfying. I'm told many, many people love this book, however, so others may enjoy this more than I did.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Woman in Cabin 10/Ruth Ware/340 pgs.

Lo Blacklock writes for a travel magazine, and has been given the opportunity to be a passenger on the new cruise ship, Aurora, and to write about the experience. It's the chance of a lifetime, and could boost her career. The only problem is that Lo has recently been burglarized, suffers from panic attacks and anxiety, and has recently been drinking too much. It's a small cruise ship, and something happens on board that has Lo questioning her own sanity. I don't want to give too much away, so I will say that it is similar to Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train, but more suspenseful. Taking a cruise has lost some of its appeal after reading this! Recommended!