Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Mothers's Day Murder by Lee Harris

Christine Bennett is understandably mortified and upset when a young woman shows up at her door claiming to be the daughter of her best friend. It is absolutely out of the question for this to be a possibility. So what does she want and what is she looking for? Christine agrees to hear her out and to find out why this young woman has chosen to claim Sister Joseph as her mother. Christine has a special stake in this as she is a former nun at St. Stephen's Parish. As Christine begins to ask questions she also starts to realize that the possibility could exist that the young woman's story could hold some truths. When Christine questions her, she tells Christine that she is afraid, that Sister Joseph is acting differently and she does not know what to do. Sister Joseph has realized that the young woman knows of her parentage and does not want it to get out. Christine ponders this information but before she can decide what she will do the young woman turns up murdered. As the investigator Christine has a dilemma, she is not comfortable prying into her friend past but has no choice. As she follows the twists and turns of this case, can she save Sister Joseph and her reputation. What is the truth and why was sister Joseph in the area on the night in question?  Christine is determined to find out the truth.
  This is a fun read. It follows the trail of adoption and the hidden curves that often occur. Sister Joseph is much loved and the content keeps you guessing to the end. Is she innocent of not only the murder but also of giving birth 20 years previously? And how does Christine look into such private matters and still maintain her friendship? You will thoroughly enjoy this book and its cast of characters. It is a great mystery and also tugs at the heart of friendship. Enjoy.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

My Ex-Best Friend by Beth Brophy

   Claire Newman is a mom first, a writer second and a real snoop at heart. Even with this she is never sure why her best friend quit speaking to her five years ago. When Claire sees her at a local bakery, she decides that she is not going to ignore the opportunity to make a impact. She wants her friend Lydia to know that she is fine without her and makes sure she stops to tell her hello.  Lydia later calls her and tells her she has a problem and that Claire is the only one she can trust. Claire decides this is an opportunity to get to the bottom of the rift and agrees to meet Lydia at her home.
  When Claire shows up she finds Lydia dead. While all the signs seem to point to suicide, Claire is not convinced. She is determined to not only find what really created the rift between them but also what really occurred. She does not believe that Lydia would ask for her help if her plan included such an ending.
  What I find fascinating about this book is that it portrays the real thought provoking processes that sometimes intrude and cause friendships to erode.  Claire is a tenacious Ex-friend determined to find the truth. What she finds is that sometimes facts are stranger then fiction and the people you think you know, you do not really know at all.  There are several false starts and Claire defiantly jumps into the fray without thinking, putting herself in harms way. If you like cozy mysteries this will be a book you will want to add to your library.

Rating 4/5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Second sight by George D. Shuman

  From five years of age when Sherry was blinded in an accident she is left with no memory of her life before the accident and her blindness also comes with a harrowing sideline; that of being able to touch the hand of a dead person and know what happened during their last 18 seconds of life. As a child she learned to hide her gift and as she grew up she kept it to herself, but when she touches the hand a man as he tumbles into her after being killed, her gift is brought into sharp focus with both the police department and the scientific community. The first years were the hardest with all the scoffing and skepticism but as she is vindicated time after time she earns a solid reputation.
  She also begins working with Dr. Salix trying to trace the cause of the blindness which is not optical, but cerebral. He has also on occasion used the bodies of those who have donated them for research to try and track the reaction of Sherry’s brain as she reads their last few seconds of life.
  Sherry has just started getting her life back after a terrifying murder case some years prior and has found someone new in her life. She is afraid to make any final decisions and while her new man is completing an overseas tour, Sherry decides to take on a case brought to her by the CDC of New Mexico.
  They think that they may have a new outbreak of Hantavirus and have found several bodies including that of a young child. As Sherry arrives on the scene, it is becoming more evident that everyone who has come into contact with either of these bodies has also become contaminated and most are in isolation or have already died. Donning a containment suit to protect herself, she holds the hand of the child and sees the beginning of an ignorance gone out of control. The entire child’s family has been in contact with radiation due to the salvaging of a stolen machine waiting to be picked up. The unit holding the radiation had been broken and the beautiful glowing blue color was too much to resist so the older brother started handling it and showing it off. A piece of this equipment had also been found under the tire of the Sheriffs car and was picked up due to the luminescence. Sherry realizes that she has handled it and is now also infected. As she is raced to the hospital and into quarantine she receives the Prussian blue that helps to clean the radiation from her system. She is released several weeks later with the understanding that she will need to undergo testing after a three month period to see if they were in time or if she would  indeed become cancerous.
  As she returns to her home and life waiting for the possible worst news of her life she realizes she must continue regardless of the outcome. For her whole life she has fought against depression and won. She has learned trust her senses as she has honed them to a fine instrument over the years of blindness. Most that see her do not realize she is due to her composure and abilities to sense where things are and if there is danger or worse around her.
 To help her regain some control she again goes to Dr Salix, he is able to get a cadaver that she can read in order to continue the research on her abilities. As she reaches out to touch the hand of an elderly gentleman she sees the most unimaginable terror she can imagine. She is drawn in so far she is unable to release, she starts repeating words that make no sense. When Dr. Salix tries to break her trance he can not, she is spiraling away. As a last resort he pulls open her eye lids, her trance is broken by a flash of searing bright light and a hair raising scream.
  Fast forward a few days and Sherry is beginning to see bits a pieces, she is convinced it has to do with the dead man. Sherry feels her vision has been triggered by something in the old man she has read and is determined to find his family and return him to them. All of a sudden life becomes complicated and dangerous. People begin dying around Sherry. With the help of her Neighbor Sherry starts finding the terrifying truth behind the body at the morgue and the government secrets of the cold war era that some one wants to make sure remains dead.
  Sherry is a great heroine and her talent is both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. The twists and turns put Sherry in danger at every turn. Still awaiting her tests from her exposure in New Mexico, Sherry soon finds that her has lost her ability to see the last sights of the victims that has been a part of her makeup since the beginning.
  George D. Shuman has written a tightly packed and terror ridden novel that is sure to keep you wondering and guessing to the very end. This is a great follow up to his novel 18 Seconds where we are first introduced to Sherry and her distinctive gift. If you love the paranormal and the thrill of the chase you will love these novels.

Rating 4/5

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Black Hills by Nora Roberts

Cover of "Black Hills"Cover of Black Hills

 I was glad to see Nora Roberts step a little out of Character on her book Black Hills. Yes it is still a Romance and yes a thriller as well but there is more meat to this book.
     We start out with with the  hero Cooper Sutherland as a child being shipped off to his grand parents into the end of nowhere in South Dakota, where once he settles in meets a girl his age living on the neighboring farm. They become the best of friends. This is cougar country and Lil, Coops friend is just absolutely in awe of the big cats. From a young age she sets her sites on running an animal rescue for wild animals. Coop on the other hand is not sure where his talents will lie. Each summer for several years Coop gets sent to his grandparents, and he and Lil learn tracking methods, and spend much of the summer practicing these skills. It is during one of these visits that they find the body of a young woman. The police follow the case but it goes cold.  As with most child hood friends they grow up and while they still keep in touch occasionally, Coop moves around and tries on different jobs, including law enforcement but does not appear to settle.  Lil finishes college and opens her wildlife refuge.
     Coop comes back to help his grandfather who has been injured and it is during this time that someone starts sabotaging Lil's refuge. One of her animals is killed and she is now being stalked.It becomes a game of cat and mouse and only the strong will survive.
     This book is full of twists and turns. Has her involvement in the Refuge brought her to the attention of a madman, or is it something else? Through it all her attraction to Coop begins to bud. But will they both make it through the nightmare alive.

Nora Roberts has brought us two very strong and likable characters that are very real. She has set an evil and psychotic killer in their mist. And then there are the animals. You will find yourself swept up in the allure of this book and find yourself cheering on the animals and pulling hard for the refuge to get through this assault.  I would read this book again and again.

Rated 5/5

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Camel Club by David Baldacci

     There are conspirators and there have been conspiracy theorists for thousands of years. This book starts with a group of misfits that have formed a conspiracy club. Finding places to meet takes them to a place where they become witness to murder. Staying ahead of the bad guys who have discovered their error becomes a game of who to trust. They can not go to the police, who would believe them? The club finally joins forces with a Secret Service Agent and it begins a terror ridden, fright filled fight to save the President. Who do you trust when you can't even trust the highest organizations in the land. Who are the betrayers and can we be on the brink of nuclear war?
     A book written with frightening possibilities and believability. David Baldacci has taken the fears right from our wildest nightmares and set them to words. There are some very real scenarios and the twists and turns take you into places that you could only dream exist. This book is not for the light hearted but is definitely one if you like the conspiracy genre.
     This is not normally a book I would pick up, but once into it I was not able to put it down. There is a whole different level of terror when the possibilities seem so plausible.

Rating 4/5

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

     This one is for the fans of the Fox Television series "Bones".  Dr. Temperance Brennan regains consciousness in a dark underground box, bound hand and feet in the middle of the icy winter in Montreal. Will Lieutenant Ryan be able to find her in time or will Dr. Brennan find her own escape?

     Kathy Reichs 206 Bones leads you on a roller coaster of crimes and criminals. Who does Temperance trust, is her career in jeopardy and who is the psycho trying to ruin her reputation. Not one to sit around Temperance follows the clues to uncover the mind of a killer.

This books pulls you in from the beginning, it is fast paced and keeps you going. As always unless you are an extreme "bone junkie" or could that be a "Bones junkie" all the detail gets a little overwhelming. Kathy Reichs continues to please her fans with the continued installments of her Dr. Temperance Brennan series, this is #12 in that series.

Rated 4/5

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Angels 101 by Doreen Virtue, PH.D.

     There is somehing about the book Angels 101 that really attracts me. Not a usual read for me, but I had the time and opportunity. This book is well written and really makes the reader feel that nothing is impossible when they look to their Angel guides. The book is written in easy to read prose, and broken out in in chapters focussing on different feeling and needs. There are discriptions of the angels and what their purpose is in our lives. Doreen gives you guidence on how to talk to them as well as how to be a better listener. She shares numerous experiences from her readers who have had dealings with angels and it is insightful how each is different in how the Angels manifest.
     Other Books include Healing with the Angels book and oracle cards, Achangels and Ascended Masters and Angel Therapy.
     If you are looking for that book to brighten your life and help you with your Angelic guidence this is the place to start. Feel more in control and build a great selfesteem. A definate self help book.

Rated 4/5
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The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

     The narrative in The Neighbor begins with an tense and suspensful beginning, leading up to some unexpected twists and turns. Filled with darkness and yet a frgile sense of new beginnings, confusion reigns supreme. Is Jason really the cold calculating killer as expected or is he the exceptional father he seems on the outside. Leave it to D.D Warren to find those answers.
This novel takes us into the workings of the parole system and the mind of a sex offender and shows us the dark side of what disfunctional families really are. The ending has several surprises for the Lisa Gardner fan that are certainly unexpected. There are some very dark moments and this is a thriller to the end.

I did find it a slow read, The narrative seemed a little disjointed and created confusion drawing the book out and keeping it from being one of those books that are hard to put down. It did keep me guessing and that kept me reading as I wanted to know the answers. Lisa Gardner ends this novel with several surpirses which she is known for.

Rated 3/5

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jean Jonson 'Sons of Destiny' Series

          If you are having a casual day or just need some fun, search no further then Jean Johnson and her Sons of Destiny Series. Any of these books are worth a look when just wanting to have a fun day in the sun or sitting in front of a fire when it is chilly. There is romance, magic and danger, with just a twist of humor. Jean has lent her characters a great sense of fun as well as an innate sense of fair play. These are feel good books and hard to put down once started. If you are like me, having found something I enjoy I try to find everything possible by the author. The books are written in progression but each is also complete on its own and is still quite bewitching. I think this author has a fresh touch and can create some sizzle, whether this is with the love scenes, the adventure or the magic inherent in her characters you are sure to have a fun and relaxing afternoon or evening in store. 

Rated 3/5

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