What I've Read - January 2011

I'm being a copycat.  But it's just such a good idea, I had to copy.  Misti recently started writing each month about the books she's read and I'm joining the bandwagon.

Heat Wave by Rick Castle
A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

I read this one just because I love, love the television show Castle.  This book has been released in conjunction with the show and there are several to follow.  The book itself was just better than okay and even had some of the same witty banter that I've come to expect from the tv show.   I'd give it three stars.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.  But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans-and a former marine cements them into place.  Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

Here's where you discover I'm a sucker for romance.  Not necessarily the type where all you read is "heaving bosoms" and well, other things.  More so the romance that makes me sigh a little.  The Virgin River series is one of my all time favorites.  I've read almost all of them and this is the first one in the turn finally came at the library.  I'd give it four stars.

Knock Out by Catherine Coulter
Starred Review. Bestseller Coulter's riveting 13th FBI thriller (after TailSpin) opens with a bang as psychic FBI agent Dillon Savich thwarts a gang of gun-totting robbers attempting to hold up the First Union Bank of Washington, D.C. Three days later, seven-year-old Autumn Backman, who sees Dillon on TV, sends him a telepathic message that she's in danger. Though eager to help Autumn, Dillon is busy tracking a bank robber who escaped, a teenage girl now leaving a trail of bodies in her wake. Meanwhile, in Titusville, Va., Autumn's mother reports her daughter missing to sheriff Ethan Merriweather. After finding Autumn, Ethan discovers her sinister uncle, Blessed, has evil designs on his psychic niece. Before Dillon and his fellow FBI agent and wife, Lacey Sherlock, can get to Titusville, Autumn and her mother flee. Well-developed characters and an expertly paced plot that builds to a breathtaking conclusion make this one of the best in this paranormal suspense series. 

I've read several in this series as well and each time I swear I won't read another....until I saw this one in CD.  I have a long commute, so give me a little break :)  As always, I was sucked in....but I swear I won't read or listen to another one of this series.  One star.

Ape House by Sara Gruen
Gruen enjoys minimal luck in trying to recapture the magic of her enormously successful Water for Elephants in this clumsy outing that begins with the bombing of the Great Ape Language Lab, a university research center dedicated to the study of the communicative behavior of bonobo apes. The blast, which terrorizes the apes and severely injures scientist Isabel Duncan, occurs one day after Philadelphia Inquirer reporter John Thigpen visits the lab and speaks to the bonobos, who answer his questions in sign language. After a series of personal setbacks, Thigpen pursues the story of the apes and the explosions for a Los Angeles tabloid, encountering green-haired vegan protesters and taking in a burned-out meth lab's guard dog. Meanwhile, as Isabel recovers from her injuries, the bonobos are sold and moved to New Mexico, where they become a media sensation as the stars of a reality TV show. Unfortunately, the best characters in this overwrought novel don't have the power of speech, and while Thigpen is mildly amusing, Isabel is mostly inert. In Elephants, Gruen used the human-animal connection to conjure bigger themes; this is essentially an overblown story about people and animals, with explosions added for effect. 

I was excited for this one.  Water for Elephants is one of my all time favorites.  And this one did not disappoint, but it wasn't quite on the same par as its predecessor.  Four stars.

Private by James Patterson
The police can't help you
Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily--and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.
The press will destroy you
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.
Only one place to turn: Private 
But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

The cover of this one caught my eye at the library.  And so I picked it up, expecting it to lack in personality.  James Patterson hasn't always been my favorite.  But Private was surprising.  I won't automatically turn away when I see this author anymore.  I give it three stars.

Whew - if you made it to the end of that one - you are a superstar!!!  What have you read recently?  Share with me!

All pictures and excerpts from Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for visiting! Please leave a link to your blog so I can visit you, too!