Wednesday, November 27, 2013

(60) Survivor in Death

Title: Survivor In Death by JD Robb
Publisher: Berkley
384 pages
Genre: Romance

Synopsis: No affairs. No criminal connections. No DNA. No clues. Eve Dallas may be the best cop in the city - not to mention having the lavish resources of her husband Roarke at her disposal - but the Swisher case has her baffled. The family members were murdered in their beds with brutal, military precision. The state-of-the-art security was breached, and the killers used night vision to find their way through the cozy middle-class house. Clearly, Dallas is dealing with pros. The only mistake they made was to overlook the nine-year-old girl cowering in the dark in the kitchen. . . Now Nixie Swisher is an orphan - and the sole eyewitness to a seemingly inexplicable crime. Kids are not Dallas's strong suit. But Nixie needs a safe place to stay, and Dallas needs to solve this case. Not only because of the promise she made to Nixie. Not only for the cause of justice. But also to put to rest some of her own darkest memories - and deepest fears. With her partner Peabody on the job, and watching her back - and with Roarke providing the kind of help only he can give - Lieutenant Eve Dallas is running after shadows, and dead-set on finding out who's behind them.

Review: Okay where to start with this review? The police work in this book is good the case is disturbing and heartbreaking.  That it takes Eve back to her past is an added plus.  I love the relationship Eve has with her young witness Nixie.   The child scares the hell out of her.  When she isn't seeing visions of her past when she looks at Nixie she is wondering what to do with her.  Having someone rely on her makes her vulnerable and Eve isn't used to feeling vulnerable.  The romance between Eve and Roarke is still going strong and the friendly animosity between Eve and her Butler still bring a smile to my face.  I hope that Nora Roberts will bring Nixie back in a much later book so that we can see how she develops because it seems to me that she is a mini Eve in the making.

Monday, November 18, 2013

(59) Of Fever and Blood

Title: Of Fever and Blood (The Inspector Svärta Thrillers, 1) S. Cedric
Publisher: Publishers Square
408 pages
Genre: Mystery

I received an advanced e-galley of this book through netgalley.com. I was published on September 23, 2013

Synopsis: Of Fever and Blood begins at the end of an investigation. Inspector Svärta, an albino profiler, and her colleague Vauvert, solve a series of sadistic ritual murder cases, and the supposed culprits—the Salaville brothers—are killed in a standoff.
However, one year later, the killings start again, this time in Paris. All forensic evidence points to the brothers, but how could that be?

The investigation leads to a discovery of the incredible truth about a killer for whom death is not an option.

Review: Super natural mixed with a mystery thriller.  While John Connelly's Charlie Parker series does this mix really well I felt that this one pushed the envelope a little to far and made it hard to be believable.  I found the book entertaining but there was just something missing. I'm not even sure what it was, maybe credibility of the characters, maybe something else but there was something I kept hoping for that never made it.

Inspector Svarta's character is strong yet broken.  She is haunted by her past and maybe thats where the breakdown was, I just can't see any police department hiring someone as broken as she is.  Thats where John Connelly has it down, Charlie was kicked off the force.

I found the story line and the references to Elizabeth Bathory and her bloody obsession with youth very interesting.  I loved the historical aspect to this book and liked the way the old was intertwined with the new. So there were aspects of this book I liked I just felt the characters were too broken and outside the realm of reality.

Friday, November 8, 2013

(58) Runner

Title: Runner (A Sam Dryden Novel) by Patrick Lee
Publisher: Minotaur books
336 pages
Genre: thriller

I received an advanced e-copy of this title through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. It is due to be released February 18, 2014.

Synopsis: Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?

Review: Fast paced thrill ride.  From the opening chapter to the end there is non-stop action and some creepy science.  The very thought of the government experimenting on people the way they do in this book is not outside the realm of my imagination and that is even scarier to me. The relationship between Sam and Rachel is touching and a bright spark of hope in an otherwise scary universe. Sam's character reminds me of Jack Reacher from the Lee Child series, ex military, very capable and even a little scary in his capabilities.  Rachel is a sweet girl who finds herself in terrifying position of being the target of a lot of very capable government people and they all want her dead.  Underneath that sweet young girl with the missing memory is a very scary and very capable young woman who can do things that will terrify you.  A great quick read.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

(57) Reality Boy

Title: Reality Boy by A. S. King
Publisher: Little Brown
368 pages
Genre: YA

I received a free copy of this book from netgalley.com for an honest review. This title was released October 22, 2013

Synopsis: Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he's still haunted by his rage-filled youth--which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle--and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they're all just waiting for him to snap. And he's starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that...until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

Review: Reality TV is not really reality.  It is staged for the camera's and for entertainment value.  What you think is real is usually just a small piece of a much larger picture. Gerald Faust became a reality star when he was 5 when his parents allowed a TV crew into their home to "help" with his behavior.  Of course he may have been the star of the show but he wasn't the one who really needed the help.

Now a teenager and still angry at the world Gerald has a choice to make. Does he continue to live in the shadow of his 5 year old self or does he decide to make his own way and show everyone that they were wrong about him? Through this journey he realizes that he may not be the only person who had a shitty childhood and just because it wasn't aired on TV doesn't mean it doesn't hurt just as much.

This book makes you think about what you see on TV and the impact it has on the people who are putting themselves through all this just for their 15 minutes of fame.

(56) Coming Clean: A memoir

Title: Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller
Publisher: New Harvest
272 pages
Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

Review: I've watched Horders on tv, and been shocked by their living conditions but Kimberly's memoir puts you right in their moldy trash ridden house along with her.  The shame and humiliation she felt at living like that.  Surviving a fire that killed all her pets, but left her happy that they got to start over somewhere else that was clean was heartbreaking.  At least nowdays its known to be a disease.  There is a name for this and kids whose parents have it at least have a name to put to it and the knowledge that there are other people out there who live like them.

Reading this book made me want to throw everything out and clean my house.  I'm not a hoarder by any means but I can understand Kimberly's need to live very sparsely.  A very interesting read.


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