Thursday, October 29, 2009


Pages: 206
Date: 29/10/2009
Grade: 4
Details: no. 2 Robicheaux Mystery
              Edition: Robicheaux the Early Years
              Three Great Novels

Well, I liked this second book in the series better than I did the first one, although I still have a hard time with Robicheaux's self-destructive tendencies and his disregard for the consequences his actions may have for those around him.
This story starts with Robicheaux running a boat renting company in the Louisiana Bayou, a cop no more. When he and his wife, Annie, are fishing one day, they witness a plane crashing into the sea. They safe a young girl from the plane, but the four adults on board are all dead by the time they arrive.
When authorities only report three bodies on the plane, Robicheaux becomes suspicious and can't help but investigate.
His investigation will bring disaster into Robicheaux's life, and nearly destroy him.
These are very dark books, but also very well written. If the upward trend continues with book three, I can see myself reading the whole series though, dark or not.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Pages: 80
Date: 25/10/2009
Grade: 5
Borrowed of friend.

The story of a misshapen man, living with only the company of the birds he rescues.
And of Fritha, the young girl who is afraid of him, but overcomes her fear to bring him the wounded snow goose she has found.
The story of a strange friendship, a rescue mission to Dunkirk, and miracles that will happen but can be heartbreaking.
A wonderful story.

Another beautiful story, set in Assisi where Pepino, a young war orphan manages to make a living for himself with the help of his loyal donkey Violetta, with the Mona Lisa smile.
When Violetta becomes very ill, Pepino looks for permission to bring the donkey to the tomb of St. Francis in the hope of a miracle. None of the local churchmen will allow such a thing though. It takes a trip to Rome by Pepino and a miraculous bunch of flowers to gain acccess. Access that might save the the donkey and helps the town of Assisi too.

It's been years since I read anything by Gallico, an author my mother introduced me to and loved. These two stories reminded me what a powerful storyteller he is, and how right my mother was.


Pages: 373
Date: 25/10/2009
Grade: 4.5
Details: no 2. Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

When the body of an American man is fished out of one of the many Venetian canals it appears that he was killed during a mugging. Brunetti, however, is convinced there is more to the murder.
His investigation takes Brunetti to an American military base in a near by town, where he discovers something in the American's apartment that makes him think he's dealing with a cover up. And a second death only confirms his suspicions.
But up against the might of the US military as well as the equally powerful as corrupt Italian authorities, justice might just be out of his reach.
I really enjoy this series. I like Brunetti and the way his family appears in the story without distracting me from the mystery.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Pages: 189
Date: 24/10/2009
Grade: 4-
Details: no. 1 Dave Robicheaux Mystery
              Edition: Robicheaux the Early Years;
             Three Great Novels

This is a rather dark mystery, set in New Orleans where Dave Robicheaux is a lieutenant with the police department.
When visiting a death row prisoner just hours away from execution he finds out that he's on somebody's hit list. Not knowing how he might have ended up on the list of somebody he doesn't even know, Robicheaux starts investigating. A decision that leads him into unexpected levels of violence, death and destruction, and leaves him re-evaluating everything he held to be true.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the story. I found it all a bit fragmented and had a hard time following exactly what was going on.
On the other hand, the story and its main character also fascinated me.
Since I have the next two books in the series here anyway, I'll read these first, before making up my mind about this series.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Pages: 334
Date: 21/10/2009
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 2 Inspector Starrett Mystery

The Sweeney family are all gathering together on the family farm in County Donegal, Ireland, to celebrate the birthday of Liam Sweeney, the father. The only one missing is Joe, the youngest Sweeney son. But when there is a knock on the door it is not Joe but Inspector Starrett, arriving with the sad news that Joe has been found dead.
It soon becomes clear that we're dealing with a murder, and Starrett and his team start an investigation. Pretty quickly the team discover that there was a lot of tension in the family concerning the farm and its future. But was that tension enough to lead to murder, or were there outside forces at work?
While the investigation is going on, Starrett also has to deal with some family issues of his own as well as a new addition to his team who starts off making the worst possible impression.
I'm really enjoying this series. Starrett is a very likeable main character with an interesting personal story that never really interferes with the mystery. The same is true for the other regular characters in the series. The mysteries are very well plotted and worked out. And of course the Irish setting, even if it is a part of the country I have never visited, is great.
I'm going to have to try and find the previous mystery series by Paul Charles.

Monday, October 19, 2009



Pages: 374
Date: 19/10/2009
Grade: 5-
Details: no. 14 Harry Bosch Mystery

Harry Bosch is back, and this time things turn very personal.
Everything starts when an old Chinese shopkeeper is shot and killed in his shop. It appears to be a killing linked to the Triads, the Chinese mafia, and very soon a suspect is under surveillance. When the suspect tries to leave the country, Bosch and his colleagues are forced to arrest him.
Then Harry receives a phone call telling him to back-off followed by a video message on his phone. The message shows his daughter, who lives in Hong Kong with her mother, held by people and scared. Within a few hours Harry is on a plane to Hong Kong determined to find and rescue thirteen year old Madeline. Working with Eleanor, Maddie's mother and her Chinese new partner, Harry has very little time to follow the clues and rescue his daughter from a horrible faith.
The 39 hours in Hong Kong will be filled with violence, bloodshed and personal loss and heartbreak.
And after his return to Los Angelos, Harry finds that the original case still holds a few surprises.
As always a good mystery with all the twists and turns you could ask for. Harry is as usual going his own way, but also facing that he now has other responsibilities in his life that he needs to take into account.
And even Mickey Haller, our Lincoln Lawyer, makes a brief appearance.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Pages: 360
Date: 17/10/2009
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 10 The Fethering Mysteries

This time, trouble strikes close to home for Carole Seddon and Jude because it's centered around their local pub and Ted Crisp, the pub's landlord and their friend.
It starts out innocently enough with an outbreak of food poisoning closing down the place for a few days.When the place reopens, it suddenly finds itself very popular with a group of bikers, determined to upset the peace and quiet in the neighbourhood. When the problems culminate in someone being killed on the pub's premisses, Jude and Carole jump into action, determined to save their friend's pub and reputation.Ted himself is close to despair. His estranged wife is looking for a divorce with a huge settlement. Between that and all the recent trouble, Ted is seriously considering selling his beloved pub.
Once again, Brett delivered and charming and well plotted, cozy, mystery. Carole and Jude's friendship remains a strange one, but that's one of the reasons these books are such fun. 
I'm already looking forward to the next one, whenever it may be coming out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009



 Pages: 502
Date: 14/10/2009
Grade: 4.5

A parents worst nightmare. You arrive to pick up your daughter after a soccer match only to be told that she has already been collected by her uncle. Except, your daughter doesn't have an uncle.
And so starts the nightmare for 10 year old Grace's family. Her mother, a very hard defense lawyer, gets angry and takes her anger out on the world and her husband. Her father, a soon to be very rich computer nerd falls apart and into his usual victim mode. And her grandfather, an alcoholic Vietnam vet has to leave behind his life in isolation and the alcohol in an attempt to help the little girl he adores.
At first, while the authorities are investigating, the family just falls apart. But once the investigation has been halted and Grace written off, it's up to the family to find strenghts they didn't know they had, face pasts they would rather keep buried and unite in ways they thought impossible if they're going to safe the girl they all love, and themselves.
A good thriller, with multiple layers and lots of good twists and turns.The only, minor complaint I have is that the story jumped from one character's perspective to another's too often. For me that eventually interfered with a comfortable and flowing read. 
On the plus side though is the fact that the story of the family and the pasts of each of it's members is at least as fascinating and thrilling as the story of the abduction itself.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


TITLE: OUT OF THIS WORLD, consisting of:
KINSMAN by Susan Krinard (3.5)
IMMORTALITY by Maggie Shayne (4-)
MAGIC LIKE HEAT ACROSS MY SKIN by Laurell K. Hamilton (4)
Pages: 357
Date: 11/10/2009
Grade: 4

I do really prefer my stories longer than these were. 100 pages just doesn't do it for me. In the case of Dallas/Roarke story I just wanted to spend more time in their company.
The Hamilton part didn't appear to be a stand-alone story, but rather the start of one of her novels. Which meant that whole lines introduced in the story were left unresolved. Very unsatisfying.
The other two stories just didn't do a whole lot for me. They weren't bad, but they failed to grip me and didn't make me feel like I wanted to check out more of the author's work.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the two stories I liked best were by authors I had read before and characters I knew. That made the stories and characters more rounded for me, and therefore better.
All stories though, came with lots of action and sexual tension, and that almost always works for me.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Pages: 509
Date: 09/10/2009
Grade: 4-
Details: no. 3 Robert Langdon Thriller

This must have been the world's most anticipated book for a long time. And when, after the book came out, the reviews came back, they ranged from total disgust to high praise, and anything in between. So, I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked up this book.
Now that I've finished it, things are a lot more clear, and for me neither of the extremes holds true. To be honest, for me this was a slightly better than average thriller. Dan Brown is not a great writer. He lacks fluency and gets too bogged down in details to make this book a real page turner.
The story is interesting enough; Robert Langdon gets lured to Washington, apparently to deliver a lecture as a favour for his friend and mentor Peter Solomon, a prominent mason.
Once in Washington though, it soon becomes clear that his purpose there is something completely different. Peter Solomon has been kidnapped and in order to save him, Langdon has to uncover the Mason's ultimate secret. His first clue being Solomon's severed right hand.
Up against a powerful and deranged adversary, and with the CIA apparently determined to stop him, Langdon only has a few hours to discover something he doesn't believe exists and prevent disaster.
This is not a bad concept for a story at all, and there are a few surprising twists and turns. However, the story does take (too)long to gather pace, gets too bogged down in detail, depends on a stereotypical villain and in the end takes too long to finish after the tension is gone.
I had one revelation while reading this book though. Tom Hanks is, in fact, perfectly cast as Robert Langdon in the movies. Langdon in this book is just as wooden and one dimensional as Hanks plays him.
My conclusion has to be that at his book has become a victim of the hype that surrounded its release. Without the hype it would have been a slightly too long, not too bad thriller. With the hype it became a minor disappointment.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Pages: 262
Date: 04/10/2009
Grade: 4

"To understand is to forgive, even oneself." - Alexander Chase

Although Frank Griffin sort of knows that his wife Ellen is seeing someone else, it still comes as a huge shock when she announces she wants a divorce.
Because Frank refuses to move out of their family home, they go from being a couple to being roommates and find they have to discover new ways of being around each other.
Seeing the story develop from Frank's point of view, we watch him going from disbelieve and feeling betrayed to coming to a reluctant understanding of his own role in this separation.
As Christmas draws near, Frank and Ellen have to decide whether to give up on each other and their marriage or to give it an other chance based on what they've learned and are still discovering.
As always, Berg is good at describing people, their emotions and the way they (try to) deal with life's upsets. She brings feelings to live without getting too heavy, deals with heartbreak without getting depressing and manages to bring humour to what could easily have been a deep and sad story.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Pages: 436
Date: 02/10/2009
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 7 Grant County / no. 3 Will Trent Thriller
Also published as: UNDONE

Karin Slaughter did something remarkable here. She took a series I used to love but learned to hate (Grant County) and combined it with a series I couldn't finish the first book in (Will Trent), combined the two, and came up with a great thriller.
Sara Linton, who has now been widowed for over three years, has left Grant County and is working in the ER of Atlanta's Grady hospital.
She is working when a woman is brought in, starved and horrifically tortured.
Will Trent is also in the hospital because his partner, Faith Mitchell after she had a fainting spell. Horrified with the state of the victim brought in, Will goes to the site where she was found and forces his way into the investigation. Accidentally he stumbles upon a cellar dug into the ground, which turns out to be a torture chamber. Then a second woman is found, also tortured, she has killed herself before help could get to her.
With one woman dead, one unconscious and the local police force openly resisting interference by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,Will and Faith have very little to go on.
But then two more women disappear and the race is on to find out what is going on and save their lives.
I still think Slaughter's main characters could do with less personal issues; her murderers really are more than dysfunctional enough for me. But, this was once again a really good thriller, like the first Grant County books, and I'm hopeful that I might find myself picking up her books again from here on in.
On a side note, I hate it when books are published under different titles on different continents. And this is the third time that is the case with a book by Slaughter.