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SDRTX (Plano, TX United States)

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The Night She Died
The Night She Died
by Jennifer Patrick
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from CDN$ 7.73

4.0 out of 5 stars A character-driven mystery, June 29 2004
This review is from: The Night She Died (Hardcover)
Thirty year old Lara Walton has just lost her longtime live-in boyfriend to a terrible car accident. She is having trouble getting on with her life in Washington D.C., so she decides to head south. She ends up in the small town of Winston, Georgia where she buys a dilapidated old Victorian. She runs across seventeen-year-old Sterling O'Connor at the Diary Queen. She hires Sterling to help her repair her tumble down old house. Their relationship is fraught with simmering tension comprised of sexual energy, mutual need, and affection. The small town is buzzing with stories of the two of them and when Lara is later found murdered in her bedroom, Sterling is the prime suspect.
This first novel is told in flashback sequences interspersed with the present day. It is more a character study than a traditional mystery. The book meanders at a sedate pace, but you don't really mind because the characters are people for which you feel compassion even if you don't always agree with their actions.

Hallowed Bones
Hallowed Bones
by Carolyn Haines
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 1.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Hallowed Bones, June 22 2004
This review is from: Hallowed Bones (Hardcover)
Southern Belle and P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney along with her best friend, Tinkie Richamond, has finally opened her own detective agency. For her first case they are called upon by a nun looking to help healer, Doreen Mallory. Doreen has been arrested for killing her deformed infant daughter by giving sleeping pills. Doreen swears she did not do it and from all accounts loved her baby very much. Three other suspects are the men who might be the baby's father. Sarah Booth and Tinkie set out to prove Doreen's innocence, and unleash an avalanche of secrets in the process.
If you are looking for gritty realism, this will not be the book for you. It's a charming, atmospheric tale set in the south with a cast of likable and somewhat stereotypical characters. The plot was not overly complex, but it was a light and enjoyable read while it lasted.

Winter's End
Winter's End
by John Rickards
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 1.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological thriller with a surprise ending, June 18 2004
This review is from: Winter's End (Hardcover)
Ex-FBI agent turned private investigator, Alex Rourke, is called back to his hometown of Winter's End, Maine by old friend, Sheriff Dale Townsend to help solve a murder of a woman found lying dead on a dark roadway. A young man wielding knives sits besides her naked corpse. The man refuses to give his name and to answer any questions. Rourke is an expert interrogator, but suspect is more adept at playing mind games than he could have imagined. Rourke struggles as he confronts his own demons brought into the forefront by this mysterious suspect who has too much personal knowledge of him.
WINTER'S END was an engrossing page-turner from the very first page; a very hard book to put down. The plot while not exactly realistic, was intricately plotted and very suspenseful. An excellent debut novel to what hopefully will become a series.

'Til Death Do Us Part
'Til Death Do Us Part
by Kate White
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.97

3.0 out of 5 stars fluffy as frosting, June 10 2004
This review is from: 'Til Death Do Us Part (Hardcover)
Bailey Weggins is a true crime reporter for Gloss, a New York's woman's magazine. Bailey receives a phone call from Ashley Hanes, a fellow bridesmaid in Bailey's former college roommate's wedding. Ashley is very disturbed about the deaths of two of the other bridesmaids. She fears she is next. Bailey feels it is just coincidence until Ashley also turns up dead in a freakish accident. Bailey starts investigating the deaths. She is being stalked and her car is run of the road. Finding out who is behind the deaths becomes a life and death situation for Bailey.
As editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Kate White, knows the world in which her books are set. Her characters are a too bit one-dimensional to be intriguing or even believable. The plot was a little short on reality too. What police department would really discount the deaths of three bridesmaids as coincidence. Bailey is a feisty character and the book is a light, easy read. It's not a bad book, but just don't expect too much out of it.

Unwilling Accomplice: A Munch Mancini Crime Novel
Unwilling Accomplice: A Munch Mancini Crime Novel
by Barbara Seranella
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 1.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Unique Characters, June 7 2004
Auto mechanic and sometime limo driver, Munch Mancini is back. She is still clean and sober after years of hard living. She gets a phone call from her adopted daughter's aunt. Lisa Slokum has taken off from the witness relocation program with her daughters, Charlotte and Jill. Lisa calls Munch desperate for help; Charlotte has gone missing. No one knows if she has run away or if something more evil has happened to her. Munch decides to help her daughter's dysfunctional family. As she starts to investigate Charlotte's life, she comes upon a stash of stolen goods in her room. Her search for Charlotte leads Munch into trouble, but due to her early life on the street, it is not anything she can't handle.
Munch is not quite as edgy as she was in earlier novels. Being a mother to Asia has softened her considerably not to speak of being "in love". Even a not-so-edgy Munch makes for a nice change from the run-of-the-mill type heroines in most detective novels. She is a very likable and admirable character. Barabara Seranella's books are so character driven that the strength or weaknesses of any given plot seems secondary. I enjoyed reading UNWILLING ACCOMPLICE and look forward to the next in the series.

Live Bait
Live Bait
by P Tracy
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from CDN$ 1.25

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, June 3 2004
This review is from: Live Bait (Hardcover)
In the follow-up to the excellent debut novel, MONKEEWRENCH, homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth return to investigate a series of murders of Holocaust survivors. There is no seemingly plausible explanation why these salt-of-the-earth elderly people were being murdered. Clues lead to an international link that threatens to unravel a lifetime of secrets.
I highly anticipated another page-turning suspenseful thriller after MONKEEWRENCH, which was one of my favorite books last year. The setup of the story started off well enough because the characters were engaging and the premise seemed interesting, but once the plotline was revealed the story went into cliché-ridden, been there-done that territory. It was a real letdown. The ending to the mystery is a little too predictable. I figured out who the culprit was without even trying. The best part of the book was the interaction between Grace McBride from MONKEEWRENCH and Leo Mazozzi. I hope they are forefront in the next book and that the next book has a better storyline.

The Enemy
The Enemy
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher, The Early Years, June 1 2004
This review is from: The Enemy (Hardcover)
This is the eighth installment in the Jack Reacher series. What makes this book unique in the series is that it is a prequel. It is New Year's Day 1990 when Jack Reacher, an Army MP stationed in Fort Bird, NC, gets a call about a two-star general found in a sleazy hotel dead of a heart attack in a potentially comprising position. Missing from the scene is the briefcase that contained an outline of a meeting with the army's elite. Reacher, assisted an ambitious lieutenant MP drive four hours to break the news to the general's widow, only to find her murdered. The bodies really start piling up when a gay Delta Force soldier is found dead. Reacher's investigation is hindered when his commanding officer is mysteriously reposted and is replaced by an officer with an agenda. That agenda is to make sure Reacher does not solve the crimes.
Not only is this an intricate and compelling military mystery, but we finally get more insight into Reacher's personal story. His brother and mother have some pivotal scenes that were very touching. The good part is that if you never read any of the Reacher books, this is not a bad one with which to start. If I had a complaint about the book is that it started to drag a bit in the middle of the book. There are such a number of different characters that I started to feel bogged down in trying to remember them all.

The Narrows
The Narrows
by Michael Connelly
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from CDN$ 1.44

5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate thriller, May 28 2004
This review is from: The Narrows (Hardcover)
THE NARROWS revisits Connelly's earlier books, THE POET and BLOOD WORK incorporating the characters of both into this story, but the main focus of the story is The Poet who ten years earlier committed a gruesome series of killings. Thought to be dead, we now find out that Robert Backus AKA The Poet is alive. Rachel Walling is the one credited with not only shooting The Poet, but also with major screw-ups in the case was her banished to the North Dakota office. She sees her chance to get back into the FBI's good graces when she called back into the new manhunt for Backus.
Former LAPD detective, Harry Bosch, is asked by the widow of Terry McCaleb (protagonist in BLOODWORK) to look into her husband's death. Backus emerges as the prime suspect in Bosch's case. Bosch and Walling reluctantly decide the work together when their cases intersect.
Connelly successfully intertwines the plots of the two earlier works into a suspenseful and gripping new thriller. I would recommend reading THE POET first since many of the characters are from that book. Characters from BLOODWORK are less integrated into this story so it is not really essential to know that story before the current one. We are also shown another side to Bosch's personality while he copes with being a father to a child he barely knows. Michael Connelly's characters continue to evolve with each installment of the series.

The Shifting Tide
The Shifting Tide
by Anne Perry
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for Anne Perry fans, May 22 2004
This review is from: The Shifting Tide (Hardcover)
William Monk usually investigates the crimes of the wealthy that inhabit some of the finest mansions in London. This time out Anne Perry takes Monk to the river and docks that is out of his comfort zone as an investigator. He has bills to pay and is happy to get any kind of work. Clement Louvain wants Monk to investigate the theft of a cargo of ivory from one of Louvain's schooners. .Louvain does not want the theft reported to the River Police. Monk's wife, Hester, runs a clinic for desperately ill women of the street who have no other place to go. Louvain brings an ill woman who came off of one of his ships to Hester. After the woman is found dead, Hester realizes that she had the Black Plague. The plague had wiped out half the population of England two centuries before. If anyone knew, mass panic who ensue; the clinic and its inhabitants would likely be burned down. The clinic must be locked down and no one must be allowed to escape from inside. Monk must answer the question of why Louvain would bring the woman to Hester.
Anne Perry writes both the Thomas Pitt series and the William Monk series. When I am reading one or the other series, it is always my favorite at the time. Anne Perry has an uncanny knack of painting the scenes of her stories so vividly that you are transported back in time. She captures the essence and the flavor of the time period.
This book had at first two seemingly different storylines: the stolen ivory and the plague. I found the scenes with the clinic: the difficulty in raising funds for a clinic for fallen women, the struggle in running it, the characters associated with it, and the dealing with the plague the more intriguing storyline. It was not until the storylines merged into one that I started to enjoy the story involving the shipyards. I think it was all a little too gritty for my taste. The relationship between Monk and Hester has evolved since the early books, and even later ones that involved their courtship. You always knew they were close and had a special bond, but this time you really felt it even though they had very few scenes together. Anyone who has never read the Monk series should go back and read them in order. It would be worth it because Anne Perry is an excellent writer who always has good, suspenseful plots.

by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 37.95
66 used & new from CDN$ 1.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, May 14 2004
This review is from: Therapy (Hardcover)
Psychologist and Police Consultant, Alex Delaware is back to help Homicide Detective, Milo Sturgis investigate the killing of two young adults murdered in a Lover's Lane type setting. The fact that a metal spike, along with a gunshot wound, impaled the woman indicates more than a routine killing. The woman remains unidentified, but the young man turns out to have had a personality change due to a recent car accident. He was seeing noted celebrity psychologist, Dr. Mary Lou Koppel, for his problems. Through the investigation, another similarly murdered patient of Dr. Koppel's comes to light. Before long, Dr. Koppel herself is found murdered. The killings seem to be linked; and Alex and Milo work to find what how.
I usually love the Alex Delaware series and this one started out well enough, but about half way through the book, it turned deadly dull. The characters were not likable and I could just not care what happened to any of them. It was bad enough that the plot was uninteresting, but it turned ridiculous as well. Alex Delaware's personal story was hardly explored at all. First time Alex Delaware readers will be at a loss to know anything about his backstory even though his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend both make an appearance in the story.
First half of the book was perhaps 4 stars and the second half 2 stars for an average of 3 even though it pains me to rate one of my favorite authors so low.

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