Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big Sis' July Reads 2012

I did a lot of reading this month, contrary to Middle Sis...  It might well be one of my better months in recent history...  I guess since work is actually a bit slow, there's more time to read before, during lunch, and after work, and there were some good vacation days that were productive reading days, as well.

Enough blathering  ---  here are July's books...

XO, by Jeffery Deaver - I do love Jeffery Deaver.  I especially love his Lincoln Rhyme books and even though this was actually a book from Deaver's Kathryn Dance series, Lincoln made an appearance to help solve the mystery of the stalker following young singer Kayleigh Towne.  I love the idea of body language being used to help solve a mystery.  Personally, I rely a LOT on people's faces, their eyes, the sound of their voices, to help me make judgments when meeting new people, or when deciding if I believe them or not...

The Third Gate, by Lincoln Child - Oh, I had such plans to read this book and send it on to Middle Sis for her enjoyment.  After all, wouldn't she just L.O.V.E. a book about an archaeological team trying to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh in Northern Sudan?  The pharaoh who united Upper and Lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., whose tomb has been whispered about for years??  Yea, NOT.  The story itself was good, but I was disappointed in the writing.  It seemed a bit disjointed, more so than previous Child books.  There were some cool "special effects," and he came up with a great description of the scene, but it just seemed the usual character development wasn't there. 

Come Home, by Lisa Scottoline - Jill is getting married.  Well, she was until her ex-stepdaughter shows up on her front steps.  Jill's ex-husband is dead, and Abby, one of the two stepdaughters she lost contact with after the divorce, well she wants nothing more than for Jill to fix it all.  She wants to find out who killed her dad.  And although all signs point to it NOT being murder, some things just don't add up and we soon find there IS a mystery to solve.  What I liked the best in this book, and I don't usually credit this to Ms. Scottoline, I LOVED the feelings, the emotions.  Jill loved these girls like they were her own and they were ripped from her life as a result of the divorce, but she soon feels that love again, up front and personal, and her fiance has to come to terms with a child from Jill's past, actually, TWO children from her past...

15 Seconds, by Andrew Gross - Oh, yay!  This was a GREAT read!  It had tons of twists and turns, and it took quite a few chapters before I figured it out, and even then, even when you knew who the bad guy was, you still had to read 2/3 more of the book to figure out how their lives intersected, and then, THEN his daughter is kidnapped...  And that's ALL I'm going to say.  Read this suspense novel!  It was a great read!

The Line Between Here and Gone, by Andrea Kane - I met Ms. Kane at a lunch her publisher threw for her when I used to work at SDC.  She's a lovely woman and I've been a fan ever since.  Another Forensic Instincts story, we have a dying child, a mom determined to save her son, a missing father who doesn't know he's a father, the Mob, and several investigators who have special talents.  I will be reading every one of these (I think this is the second?) - I sure hope there are several more coming!

Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha VanLeer (Kindle edition) - Ms. Picoult's daughter Samantha came up with the basic premise of this story:  what if the characters in your favorite fairy tale actually had real lives outside the story you were reading?  What if things happened when the book was closed and you weren't reading it?  Could a character from a book come to life, in real life?  Ms. Picoult was intrigued enough to decide to work WITH her daughter to write this book.  In all honesty, I'm only halfway through it, so I can't say if the ending justifies the journey, but so far, while it's not one of Ms. Picoult's traditional novels, it's interesting enough to keep my attention and I'll be finishing it this week.  I'll update this entry with some final words later...

Backfire (an FBI Thriller), by Catherine Coulter - This series started off phenomenally well, then seemed to peter out a bit.  It seems to me to be a 50/50 chance that the book will be up to speed, or disappointing.  This one?  While it wasn't as good as the earlier ones, it was good enough.  A judge is shot, the prosecutor from a high-profile trial is missing, and Sherlock and Dillon Savich are called to San Francisco by the judge's wife (they're friends from a previous case), called to SF to hopefully find the person who tried to kill the judge.

I, Michael Bennett, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge - Again, a great opportunity for an up and coming author to have another bestseller under his belt before he goes solo!  I like the character, NYC Detective Michael Bennett, dad to 10 adopted children.  Michael takes the kids and the nanny on vacation to the family cabin in Newburgh, NY.  Of course, a vacation can't just be a vacation or there'd be no story, but in this book, we deal with the attempted murder of one of Michael's boys, the developing relationship and almost demise of said relationship between Michael and Mary Catherine, the nanny, and loads of fast-moving action.

Midnight Promises, by Kay Hooper - Another in the Sweet Magnolias series, we meet Elliot and Karen, now married after meeting and falling in love in a previous novel as supporting characters.  He wants to invest their hard-earned and saved money in a business venture he really believes in, to make their lives better in the future.  He wants to adopt her children, who already love him like the father they never really had.  But Karen can't get over the memory of the debt her ex-husband left her in, where her children had to live with a family friend because Karen couldn't support them, where they had nothing, and nothing was a lot.  A series of misunderstandings, a family friend possibly suffering from Alzheimer's, everyday stresses... is love enough?

Summer Nights, by Susan Mallery - Fools Gold:  Book 8 - I haven't read 1-7, although I do think I read one or two of them because some of the characters and scenarios seemed familiara.  Shane wants a quiet woman, someone who will be content to be a rancher's wife.  A librarian, perhaps?  Annabelle has a history, and all she wants is passion and heat and overwhelming love, none of which she got in her first marriage.  Can this work?  (Hint, hint:  yes, it can, and it's fun watching the fireworks!)

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