Love to Read

Books I've recently read & enjoyed. Please add your own lists, as we book addicts are always on the lookout for books we haven't heard about...

Monday, July 26, 2004

July Cont'd.

The Tarnished Eye - by Judith Guest, Yes that Judith Guest, famous for "Ordinary People."  This book is a well-written mystery.  A sheriff, still grieving over his infant son's death of SIDS, is confronted with an uncomprehensible murder of an entire family.  Their deaths seem somehow connected to the serial murder/rapes of University of Michigan co-eds.

I was surprised by this book, I picked it up because of the author, curious to see what type of mystery she would write.  It is quite well written and a good mystery.  Check it out!

Bone Harvest - by Mary Logue.  This is the latest in a series featuring Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins.  The series is set in a small Wisconsin town and many recurring characters populate the stories.  This tale begins with the poisoning of a flower bed, followed by a flock of chickens and the poisoning escalates from there.  The clue left behind at each crime scene is a finger bone.  Apparently these bones relate this crime to one committed nearly 50 years ago. 

An entire family was wiped out on that day and Claire works with the newspaper owner, a lifetime resident of town, to find the history of that crime and how it relates to the poisonings.  As the anniversary approaches, Claire is feverishly trying to beat the killer to the finale.

All the while, Richard, Claire's boyfriend is planning to propose.  His plans keep being put on hold by the horror of what is happening in town.  Claire's daughter is sent to stay with her grandparents to relieve Claire of a little worry.

Well done, I'll be checking out the other books in this series!  Very enjoyable.

I'm No Angel -- by Susan Berg, this is a fun very sexy mystery/romance.  Angel is a tough-talking, spike-heeled wearing private eye.  Tom is an ex-alligator wrestler (!!) and new millionaire.  Both of them are interested in Holt Hudson, a recluse who has offered Angel the use of his mansion and the auction of his late wife's jewelry for her Altzheimer's Charity Gala.  Tom has recently discovered that Holt is actually his godfather though the man refuses to speak to him.

This could be a fluff story, but the families of each of the protagonists figure in key ways that give this book a little more weight than you'd expect.

Very good, a cut above the average beach book!

The Darkening -- by Chandler McGrew -- wow!  This is an extraordinary book, part end-of-the-world, part Rapture, part horror story, it keeps you on your toes and never lets go for a moment.  Two seemingly normal people are being sought by groups on both the good and the evil side.  One morning, a Rapture-like disappearance of most everyone is coupled with a loss of all electrical power.  The sun barely shines and seems to dim on a daily basis.  As the two groups travel to "the Keep", they discover they are being hunted by some kind of creatures.  The leaders of the groups are very stingly with details of what they're doing, and why.  The travels are long and frightening.  Upon arriving at "the Keep" things begin to come to a thrilling conclusion.

McGrew has several other novels that I'll be checking out right away.  This was fabulous!

Darkly Dreaming Dexter -- Jeff Lindsay.  This is an awesome book.  The first 10 minutes found me saying "I don't know what to think about this book."  The next 10 minutes found me in love!  Dexter works for the Miami Dade police as a blood splatter analyst.  In his off-hours Dexter is a serial murderer.  With a very strict set of rules.

His foster father Harry, himself a cop, realized what Dexter was when he was young.  He taught him the "rules of Harry" which include:  blending in with others (even if they make no sense to you), only kill "bad guys", prepare, prepare, prepare, keep your crime scene immaculate, etc.

Dexter has a girlfriend who makes no demands on him, and works to appear like everyone else.  When his foster-sister needs his help to solve a series of murders of prostitutes and get moved from Vice to Homicide, Dexter goes to work.

As the "artist" keeps taunting the police, his elegant work begins to remind Dexter of someone.  He's so enamored of the work this killer is doing that he makes a few mistakes of his own.  Dexter begins to fear that maybe *he* is the one killing the prostitutes.

This is such an awesome story -- Dexter is wonderful!  You couldn't help but like him.  Great concept!  This story is witty, dark and funny.

Murder Suicide -- by Keith Ablow.  This is the newest in the Dr. Frank Clevenger series.  Frank is a forensic psychiatrist.  He has helped the police with some headline making cases.  In this case, he's asked to determine if a famous inventor has committed suicide or if he was murdered.  The man was entering the hospital for experimental surgery that may cure him of the seizures that have plagued him his entire life.  The surgery will also destroy his memory of everyone in his past, from his wife and children to his partner.  He'll have his brilliant mind and will be free of all entanglements.  He'll be starting his entire life over.  If it succeeds.

Frank is the single father of Billy, a trouble teen that he adopted.  Frank struggles to be a good father while he has no good example of fatherhood to refer to, his own father beat him regularly. He has cut out his drinking and drugging that used to help him through his own personal crisis', now he fights sober.

Good series -- I enjoy it now with Billy as an added emotional anchor for Frank.  Frank's struggle to be a good father and his fight to stay sober have made me like him much more.  In the earlier stories he is much more selfish and enjoying his life of wine, woman and well not song, but gambling and drugs.  He's grown a lot and he has a chance with a woman who he's nuts about.

Very good story, surprise ending.


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