Thursday, June 3, 2010

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

Genre - Mystery/Paranormal
Year Published - 2006
ISBN - 978-0-533-59131-6
Number of Pages -430
Rating - 2.0/5

In this third installment of the Odd Thomas series we find Odd trying to escape the horrors of past events that happened in his small desert home town of Pico Mondo by living a life of seclusion in a peaceful monastery of St. Bartholomew which is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. But trouble seems to follow him around wherever he goes and he becomes aware that the quietness of the monastery is soon to be disrupted by the forces of evil.
This is the weakest novel yet. There are some good touches -I liked the description of the snowbound monastery and I found the monstrous apparitions intriguing but on the whole the plot was weak with an unsatisfactory resolution and Koontz's heavy handed moralizing gets in the way. I do have the fourth book in the series on my shelf but it may be quite a while before I get to it.

Death of a Dying Man by J.M. Redmann

Genre - Mystery
Year Published- 2009
ISBN - 1-60282-075-1
Number of Pages - 281
Rating - 4.0 out of 5

After a ten year wait we have the fifth entry in the Micky Knight mystery series.
New Orleans has always been a central character in the series and the devastation that it experienced by hurricane Katrina is pervasive in the story. Hired by a man who is dying of
Hep C/HIV to find a daughter he never knew or wanted before now provides the core mystery that sets the tone. Micky continues to develop as a person and in relationship to others. Thrown into the midst of this is the turmoil that was Katrina. J.M.'s descriptions and dialogues painted pictures in my mind of scenes that at times are enjoyable and at times haunting. The changed landscape of her beloved city is mirrored in Micky's interior landscape. Redmann does her usual good job in the crafting of her plot. I certainly hope that we do not have to wait for another ten years for the next instalment.

Bone by Bone By Carol O'Connell

Genre - Mystery
Published - 2008
ISBN - 978-0-399-15514-7
Number of Pages - 337
Rating 4.50 out of 5

In Bone by Bone, Carol O'Connell blends the eccentricities of a small town with a murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. Oren, who returns to his home town to find a terrible scenario is playing out at his father's house. someone is leaving the bones of his younger brother Josh who had disappeared twenty years ago on the front porch one bone at a time.

Carol O'Connell is at her finest as she skillfully weaves the intertwining lives of a small community. This taut character driven novel will keep your reading and you will find it hard to put down. This is a beautifully written mystery that will keep you guessing till the end. The only character that I would have liked to had more information on is Oren himself.

The Halo Effect by M.J. Rose

Genre - Mystery
ISBN - 0-7783-2197-5
Date Published - 2005
Number of Pages - 379
Rating -3.25 out of 5

Detective Noah Jordain is trying to keep one step ahead of a serial killer who has been targeting prostitutes, killing them with ritualistic precision. When Cleo Thane, a high priced prostitute and client of sex therapist Dr. Morgan Snow disappears after giving Morgan an unpublished book about her exclusive clientele, Morgan knows that what she has in her hands could be explosive. As she begins her own investigation into Cleo's disappearance Morgan begins to realize that navigating Cleo's mind could prove deadly.

Rose has written and explosive erotic thriller that will keep you turning the pages till the end. The character of Dr. Morgan Snow is well developed and the plot has enough twists and turns that will keep you guessing as to who the killer is. I didn't rate it higher because I personally found it hard to believe that a therapist would go and try to find a killer. That aside I did enjoy the book.

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child

Genre - Thriller
ISBN - 978-0-385-51551-1
Number of Pages - 320
Date Published - 2009
Rating 4 out of 5

200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, paleoecologist Evan Marshall and a small band of fellow scientists have the opportunity to study first hand the effects of global warming. However everything changes when they have an unprecedented find. During a routine exploration of a glacial ice cave the group discovers an enormous ancient animal. Despite warnings from the local First Nations people, the media conglomerate that sponsored the expedition plan to thaw out the creature on live television.

Once again Lincoln Child has provided the reader with a riveting thriller. He weaves together a stunning Arctic landscape, a terrifying mythic creature, an enveloping aura of chaos with a good dose of fear. The plot moves quickly and the characters are well developed with a terrifying collision between modern science and a First Nations legend. I found myself reading well into the night, not wanting to put the book down. A must read for thriller fans.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Impact by Douglas Preston

Genre - Thriller
ISBN -978-0-7653-1768-1
No. of pages - 364
Rating 4.0 out of 5

One again Douglas Preston has executed a terrific thriller. It is a fascinating thriller that is full of twists and turns . Every time I thought that I knew what would happen next I would be surprised. This is a fast paced, action packed, mind bending adventure. The book is well crafted and thought provoking providing the reader with an original well executed plot. I look forward to more from this talented writer.

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

Genre - Mystery/Suspense/Paranormal
ISBN - 0-553-58826- 5 - paperback
No. pf Pages - 364 pages
Rating - 3.0 out of 5

Koontz's second book in the Odd series continues the mix of suspense and wit which marked the style in the first book Odd Thomas. I particularly enjoyed how Thomas uses his heart, wit, mind, and will power when he discovers that his friend Danny is missing. To be honest I enjoyed the first book more, but I also enjoyed this one. The setting, the plot, Thomas' wit and perseverance, takes the reader on an entertaining journey through a world of terror and transcendence. I plan to read the next book in the series.

Greasing The Pinata by Tim Maleeny

Genre - Mystery
ISBN - 978-1-59058-566-5
No. of pages - 334
Rating 4.0 out of 5

Once again Tim Maleeny delivers a fast paced mystery that readers will enjoy.
Maleeny's third Cape Weathers continues to engage the reader with an excellent plot with twists and turns that will surprise. His vivid characters enrich the suspenseful plot. Hired to find a missing United States senator Cape stumbles on a conspiracy that leads from corporate boardrooms in the US to powerful drug cartels in Mexico. Cape's deadly companion Sally who was trained by the Hong Kong Triads continues to watch his back as he confronts a killer who wants bury the past along with anyone who wants to dig it up. I hope to learn more about Sally and I also hope that she eventually has a more prominent role as this series continues .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Burn Out by Marcia Muller

Genre - Mystery
ISBN - 0-446-58107-0
No. of Pages - 309
Rating - 4.0 out 0f 5

Burn Out begins which Sharon McCone retreating to her high desert ranch suffering from burn out and traumatized by a recent life or death investigation. Here we see McCone suffering from depression and trying to figure out the direction her life should go in. Even though she is determined not to investigate anything, McCone finds herself drawn into a case concerning a First Nations American woman and her dysfunctional family. As the corpses keep mounting up we see McCone coming to terms with her own Shoshone heritage and future of her life.

Once again Marcia Muller shows us why she is regarded as one of the world's premiere mystery writers. She combines a strong sense of place along with an in-depth character study of her main protagonist. The plot moves along well and keeps the reader guessing as to "whodunnit." Muller consistently provides us with satisfying reads.

Watch Me by A. J. Holt

Genre - Mystery/Thriller
ISBN - 0-312-95997-4
No. of Pages 370
Rating - 3 out of 5

This is another book that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while. As far as I can tell it is still available from major bookstores. I usually do not care for serial killer novels because of the violence portrayed in them so the fact that I was able to read this one through to the end speaks volumes about the author's ability to hold the reader's attention without wallowing in gory details. The added plus is that the story is told from the perspective of Special FBI agent Jay Fletcher who knows how to catch serial killers. She has developed a computer program that identifies the most vicious murderers in the US.

Holt has provided the reader with an in depth character study of her protagonist and the toll that her job takes on her. A good read. This is the first book I have read by Holt- I will be on the look out for more.

Lost City by Clive Cussler

Genre - Thriller
ISBN - 0-425-20419-7
no. of pages - 515
Rating - 2.75 out of 5

This novel has been sitting in my TBR (to be read) pile for a while. It is a fast paced novel that keeps you turning the pages to find out how the heroes are going to get out of the jam they are in. I like like Cussler's novels. They demand a suspension of belief, with just enough science fact to make the stories interesting. The writer takes you from the cold 2000 feet below the icy waters of the North Atlantic to the countryside in France as Kurt Austin, the leader of Numa's special assignments team tries to discover why scientists from a remote Greek island are disappearing and what this has to do with a body discovered frozen high in the Alps. A decent time waster and a fast read.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Genre - Mystery
ISBN - 978-0-14-317009-9
Rating - 5/5
No. of Pages - 841
It has been a long time since I have read a mystery that I just couldn't put down. This book has everything, a striking sense of place, two fascinating characters- a disgraced financial journalist and a captivating complex heroine Lisbeth Salander, a terrific mystery of family and power dynamics sprinkled with death, intrigue, and sex. I sincerely doubt that you with find a better book. To be honest when I saw the size of the book I thought to myself - O Boy, this will be a dragged out story. Not So. Larsson combines a chilly Swedish backdrop, his reporter eye for detail, and high tech sleuthing, to give us a compelling well woven tale that keeps you wanting to find out what happens next. This is one of the few books that I have given an excellent rating. The only down side is that the author died unexpectedly at a young age. There are 2 more books in this series. I have the second and the third is due out this year. I will be reading them!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It has been quite a while since my last post. Real life had been extremely with work changes and a move to a new city. But the good news is that I have returned and will be publishing reviews again.
I have just reading two mysteries and the reviews will be up shortly.