Monday, June 3, 2013

Good Books

Last week I shared the mini-reviews of books I've hated on my Kindle.  Today, I'll share some titles I thoroughly enjoyed.

It's a crap shoot, for the most part.  I only download freebies, and only the first of a series, and I'm trying to stick to mysteries and thrillers for screen time reading. The authors I know and love are, for the most part, absent from Book Bub and Book Gorilla. I'm choosing to download new selections based on two sentence blurbs.  I'm learning to use cover art as a clue, and sometimes it actually works out that a fascinating picture leads to a fascinating novel.... like these:
Lethal Circuit: Spy Action Adventure Mystery Thriller (Lars Guignard) This book is all of the things the subtitle lists. A big, strong, ruggedly handsome CIA agent (are there any other kind of CIA agents in novels these days?) searches for his missing/dead father, encountering old flames and terrorists and secret plots along the way.  It's the first of a series; I'm actually considering spending a dollar to see how the story unfolds.

The Blasphemer – An Islamic Thriller (Maya Raines #1) (John Ling)What was it like to be Salman Rushdie?  Living under a fatwa, married to a woman who chafes under the restrictions, surrounded by agents who are ambivalent about your worth, supervised by a strong woman, this ripped from the headlines story is well written and thoughtful and might just be worth a further look at the series.

T Jefferson Parker is a prolific author whose library books have accompanied me on many vacations.  These three were free from Book Bub and I enjoyed every one of them
  • Where Serpents Lie Police on the trail of serial child abusers find themselves entangled up to their hairlines. It's creepy and realistic and kept me on the edge of my seat.
  • The Blue Hour (Merci Rayborn) An inside look at being a girl in a boy's world, Merci Rayborn must have appeared in other Parker novels.  There are references to relationships gone by, but this works as a stand alone story of love and aging and women in the workplace.  
  • Silent Joe – The title character is one of my favorite new heroes.  He's damaged and whole and empty and full and figuring it all out as he goes along,.  There's a sweet love story and a chilling back story presented without embellishment. You want to read this one.
Wired (Douglas E. Richards) Enhanced brain function (think Forbidden Planet) and the key to it all live within a brilliant and beautiful young woman (are there any other kinds in these stories?).  Some are out to kill her, some to control her, some to protect her and each and every one of them is wonderful in his or her own normal or perverted way.  I was thinking about brain power for a week after finishing this one.

Pushed Too Far (A Thriller) (Ann Voss Peterson) Another dead girl, brainy female police chief, unhappy underlings, and a community terrorized by a killer.  Though verging on the formulaic, the long sentences that manage to keep you interested without losing the original train of thought make this one worth reading.

The Penal Colony (Richard Herley) Pappillon meets Lord of the Flies in this dystopian universe. Criminals, captives on an island off the coast of England, plan an escape under the eye of Big Brother. The group process, the social structure, the individual differences and unlikely friendships move this story from unbelievable to frighteningly real.  It will haunt you. 

Hope Road (1st John Ray mystery) (John Barlow) The first of a series I'll read through to the end.  This character is multi-layered, unpredictable, complex.  Trying to establish himself outside the aura of his gangster family, John Ray is a man I'd like to invite to dinner.  

Murder on The Mind (A Jeff Resnick Mystery) (L L Bartlett) A mystery wrapped in a family drama is sure to capture my attention.  I felt as if I were sitting at the dining room table, in the back seat of the car, on the front lawn with these people, waiting for the next shoe to drop. The mystery is almost secondary to the interpersonal complications.

To Speak for the Dead (The Jake Lassiter Series) (Paul Levine )The medical details are as fascinating as the legal shenanigans in another first-in-a-series.  There's an ex-jock, armed forces, big guy taking on the world once again, but there were enough new and surprising developments to make it worthwhile.

The Girl from Long Guyland (Lara Reznik)  She goes to college in 1969, just like I did.  She has roommate issues, just like I did.  There are fascinating minor characters wandering around the edges of this then-and-now story that moves to Tucson, too.  This book had a cheesy cover but the story was certainly worthy of attention.

Rescuing Olivia (Julie Compton) The problem with reading so many of these books, one after the other, is that they tend to bleed together.  This is another problem family, damaged boyfriend, friends who protect and need protecting story that is well-written and startling and ultimately disturbing.  It followed me around until I replaced it with

The Watcher (The Bigler county Romantic Thriller Series) (Jo Robertson)The free book people really like pedophiles and molesters and creeps.  This one verges on becoming a romance, and then takes a sharp turn back to thrills and chills. The bad guy lurks in the shadows, and I had a great time watching him watch.

The Big Bend (Gary Showalter) Showalter is one of my favorite authors, and The Big Bend is no exception.  A thriller, a mystery, a keep-me-safe story that involves explosions and friendships and middle aged angst, this one is another keeper.

And then there's Scott Pratt. An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard Series #1) tells the tale of a lawyer's last client before he retires for good. He loves his wife and hates his life and can't believe that an innocent client might actually exist. The mystery was interesting, the interpersonal relationships were believable, and I downloaded the second in the series as soon as I read the last line of the first.  

Unfortunately, In Good Faith (Joe Dillard Series #2 is didactic and slower than molasses from the freezer.  I was sorry that his wife's diagnosis of breast cancer was upsetting to Joe Dillard, but in depth analyses of treatment options and breast exams did nothing to advance the story line.  He was educating the reader but he forgot to entertain at the same time. I left them mid-way through; I was glad to say goodbye.

Now that I am caught up on the e-books I've downloaded, I will make a concerted effort to stay up to date on the sidebar, too.  I'm sorry that I've left you with Euripides and Thucydides for so long.  I'm moving on to Aristotle this month.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips.

    Hope you had a lovely weekend.

    Megan xxx


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