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Reviews Written by
Simonetta Cavilli

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by Sara Paretsky
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.42
51 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD..., May 1 2001
This review is from: Deadlock (Mass Market Paperback)
I have to admit that I am a HUGE fan of VI Warshawski, I love her tough-as-nails outlook on life, but still has a soft heart. She is a damn good investigator, street fighter and has a mouth on her that would make guys blush, she is a tougher version of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, and all VI's stories have a great element of humor in them too...
This time, VI is investigating the death of her cousin Boom Boom, who used to work in Chicago's shipping industry. Boom Boom has seemed to have drowned, but VI is convinced her cousin was murdered and spends her time trying to uncover secrets down in the shipyards.
Even though the story is good, it really isn't enough to keep me interested. I did finish the book, but there are many other VI stories out there are much better and much more fast-paced than this little sleeper.
Ok, if you are a VI fan and you want to read the series, otherwise choose another one.

Found Money
Found Money
by James Grippando
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!, May 1 2001
How does a young man inherit millions in cash from his dying 'penniless' father? How does a young, struggling, single mum receive $200,000 in the post? How are these two events and people related? And how does this make for a sensational book? Well, it just does!
For a suspense novel, it has got to be one of the most interesting ones out there, if not, just for a great premise for the entire book, very original!
Amy Parkens receives $200,00 cash from a donor, who has decided to keep themselves hidden. Ryan Duffy's father leaves him millions in cash, but Ryan has always known his father to be a hardworking electrician, hardly a millionaire. How did his Dad get the money? Extortion? Mafia? Drug runner? As Ryan uncovers his father's life, Amy is trying to figure out who sent her the money and for what reason.
Amy & Ryan's lives come hurtling together and this makes for interesting reading as you try and figure out what happened. Even when you think you know, you don't!
This is an excellent suspense novel, definately recommended!!!

The First Time
The First Time
by Joy Fielding
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL, May 1 2001
This review is from: The First Time (Hardcover)
After trying to get into a few crime/suspense novels, I picked up 'The First Time' just for something different and was blown away as to what an excellent book this was.
Mattie Hart has spent her entire marriage turning a blind eye to her husbands unfaithfulness and is slowly falling apart. After a few strange happenings and feelings, she is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, a crippling disease that eventually is fatal.
Her husband, feeling guilty, returns home to help her and look after his teenage daughter. Basically, this book is very thin on plot, but it isn;t the plot that makes this story interesting, it is the three main characters, that make this book unforgettable and un-put-down-able!
Even though the story rushes toward a tragic ending, it is the emotion, psychology and dialogue that will have the reader glued to the book.
I definately recommend this book if you are after something that will stay with you and is superbly written.
Well done, Ms Fielding!

The Sky Is Falling: A Novel
The Sky Is Falling: A Novel
by Sidney Sheldon
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

2.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE!, May 1 2001
Although Sidney Sheldon is a millionaire from this style of writing, I didn't think that he was such a bad writer. I tried a couple of his books when I was 17, thought they were ok, and tried this one 10 yrs later, what a waste of paper!
I am aware that Sheldon has to put the gorgeous young bimbette as the heroine, but this one takes the cake. Dana Evans is a sensational TV journalist (she is probably all of 14) and has just recently acquired a young orphan boy from his war-torn country. Over the past few yrs, a very wealthy and famous family has had its members taken out, in different, but tragic circumstances and Dana, being the clever vixen that she is, is the first person to see that there might be a link.
So Dana sets out with her man Jeff (equally as young, successful and gorgeous) and crosses different countries trying to figure out what is going on with the famous Winthrop family, meanwhile Jeff is playing doctor and nurse with his ex-wife (a model, of course!) who has fallen tragically ill and while Dana is jettsetting, she fails to realise that her poor orphan boy, who is a model for ADD kiddies everywhere, has suddenly become very placid, polite and downright lovely young man, when left in the hands of the babysitter!!!!!
This is such a bad bad novel, but it would make a good made-for-TV thing that would be on a Tues night, but I don't think that I would be watching it!
I am surprised that there are people out there that like this book and what is even more surprising is that Mr Sheldon has made squillions from writing crap like this, oh well, I suppose there is hope for all budding writers.

Mystic River
Mystic River
by Dennis Lehane
Edition: Hardcover
47 used & new from CDN$ 1.72

2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!, April 30 2001
This review is from: Mystic River (Hardcover)
Oh Dennis, just stick to your brilliant crime fiction with Angie & Patrick. Please leave the Stephen King-esque story lines to Stephen King.
I was eagerly awaiting this book by the brilliant Mr Lehane and when I read the back cover, I realised it wasn't about his usual suspects - Angie & Patrick, but I figured, it is still a Lehane, it's got to be good, right?
WRONG! This book is so boring, I only finished it because it was written by Lehane, but basically the story involves 3 boys who grew up together - Dave, Sean and Jimmy. After a good opening, Dave gets into a car and disappears for a few days, when he finally returns, his disappearance is not dealt with and we fast forward to 25 years later where Sean is a cop, Jimmy owns a store but has done a stint in prison and Dave is trying to deal with what happened to hiim 25 years ago.
Now, the premise is great but this is the sort of thing that King would write and do it 50x better. It could have been good, it could have been great but it wasn't, there are too many questions, not enough answers, a very weak ending and it is basically a very boring book.
If you are after excellent Lehane, do yourself a favour and try anything else he has written!

Buried Evidence
Buried Evidence
by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.69

3.0 out of 5 stars VERY AVERAGE, Feb. 17 2001
This review is from: Buried Evidence (Hardcover)
Every now and then a crime writer comes along that completely blows you out of the water and you ask yourself 'where did he/she come from?' but this is not the case with Ms Rosenberg.
This is a story about Lily Forrester, a defence lawyer, who after years of living with her deadbeat alcoholic husband, finally divorces him and leaves her college-bound daughter, Shana, with him. Years before, Shana & Lily were raped and although the rapist was found and jailed, he is out again and on the war-path, stalking Shana (as he knows where she lives!)
Lily is coming to terms with protecting her daughter and rekindling the romance that she has with another defence lawyer, Richard.
Basically, Lily, Shana, Richard and John (her ex) are very annoying people. Ms Rosenberg has made everyone very 1 dimensional and there are too many questions. If Lily & Shana were both raped by the same man & there he is still stalking them, would you send your daughter off to stay at a friends house (that she barely knows ) so Lily could get some nooky with Richard? Sounds like a great parent! If the rapist is stalking Shana, wouldn't you move out of the same house????
Sorry, Ms Rosenberg, I felt this is was just an attempt to cash in on a tired theme.
Overall, this is a very average book that will keep you entertained for the time that you are reading it. Don't expect it to be brilliant like anything from Michael Connelly (excellent crime author) but it will give you something to do.

Day of Atonement
Day of Atonement
by Faye Kellerman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars NOT GOOD, BUT NOT BAD, Feb. 17 2001
This is the third book I have read from Kellerman and I have found her to be an average writer. This book is no exception.
Peter (LAPD) & Rina Decker are on their honeymoon in Rina's hometown, so the references to Orthodox Jews are virtually the book on its own. While Peter is grappelling with Judasim and all its words (that for a non-Jew, gets very frustrating at times) he seems to be also be searching for a runaway teenage boy & here is where the story starts to get interesting. The boy (Noam) is his half-nephew who has seemed to have hooked up with another teenage pyscho who likes filleting gay men. So, Peter, has to spend his honeymoon looking for Noam and his friend, Hersh.
Bascially, the entire book is about Peter's search for Noam, Hersh, his r'ship with his wife, her family, his struggle with the religion and his first meeting with his 'real' other.
Unfortunately, Kellerman spends way too long on the Judaism and not enough on the actual story & I had read books from her that don't involve Rina, and they are fantastic!
Overall this is an ok book. If you are looking for great crime fiction, then look towards Michael Connelly or John Sandford but if you are looking for light crime with a heavy dash of religion, then this is the book for you!

Keeping Faith
Keeping Faith
by Jodi Picoult
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A TRULY WONDERFUL BOOK!, Jan. 25 2001
This review is from: Keeping Faith (Paperback)
In the mist of my collection of serial killers, crime, suspense and political thrillers, I manage to pick up one of those wonderful, beautiful books, that leave you breathless and begging for more when it finishes.
I absolutely loved this book by Jodi Picoult. Faith is a 7 yo girl that is having a very tough time going through her parents divorce. She calls upon her imaginery friend 'Guard' to help her through it. She is actually calling God and seeing her - yes, her! Through a number of miracles and other examples of Faith and her God, the media comes to town, bringing with it, believers, those who want to be healed, TV athiests and of course, reps from Rome.
This is not just a book about Faith and whether God actually exists or not, it is cleverly entwined with Mariah & Colin (Faith's parents) and they deal with the fact that their 7yo daughter might or might not be a visionary plus the fact they are divorcing and who gets custody of their little miraculous daughter.
This book is so much more than what I can describe in a review, it is beautifully and cleverly written, the characters are wonderful and you want to keep reading just to see what happens next to Faith and her 'family'. This has definately got to be one of the best books that I have read for a very long time (that isn't a thriller) and I highly recommend it!!

No Safe Place
No Safe Place
by Richard North Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL A REAL THRILLER, Jan. 21 2001
This review is from: No Safe Place (Hardcover)
Not being a huge fan of Patterson, I was a bit apprehensive on getting this novel, but after getting past the first couple of chapters, I was hooked!
Senator Kerry Kilcannon is a candidate in the presidential elections whose brother was assassinated 12 years before, he too was running for politics. Kerry had never liked the idea of getting involved in politocs, but after a number of years as a lawyer, plus the fact the public loved his brother, he is thrust into the world of politics and the media.
This is basically a story of political backstabbing, affaires, murder and what can happen when 1 mistake can ruin your whole life as well as many other peoples along the way.
I have to admit that this is probably one of the best political thirller I have read in a very long time and I usually steer well-clear of anything with the US govt or army, but this one from Patterson is nothing short of sensational!
Highly recommended if you like easy-to-read thrillers but one that are written beautifully, really explore their characters PLUS keep you on the edge of your seat!

When the Wind Blows
When the Wind Blows
by James Patterson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, Jan. 17 2001
Yet another JP book that doesn't have the legendary Alex Cross and therefore the low rating.
This is definately not the fast-paced, action-packed, excellent thrillers that JP usually writes but a bizarre story of genetically engineered children that can fly and are born & grown to experiment on.
An FBI agent, Kit Harrison, is on leave and is conducting his own investigation of a number of murders that have been happening around town. He encounters a vet, Frannie, who spots a young girl on the side of the road..and she has wings and can fly! Basically, the rest of the story is trying to find out where she has come from and who/what are doing these sorts of experiments. I had guessed the ending well into the book, so it really wasn't a surprise for me, but overall, the plot was not that great, esp considering JP introduced me to Gary Soneji and Det Alex Cross!
Overall, I was disappointed with this book from Patterson, although he is an excellent writer, I really do believe that he should stick to real thrillers with Alex Cross and let the suspense/horror to Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
If you are a fan of JP, then you will be disappointed but this is a fast-read (short chapters) and it will keep you entertained for a least a couple of hours, otherwise re-read 'Kiss the Girls'.

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