FINISHED CHALLENGE: Finish The Series Challenge 2010

Well, I finally finished this challenge. It was a much needed challenge for me. And although I read quite a few books that are part of a series this year, I was only able to get caught up on 3 challenges (which was my original goal). Here’s what I finished:

 So overall, I’m very pleased with where I’m at. Because in addition to these series that I was able to catch up with, I was able to read 12 books in the Kay Scarpetta series and 4 in the Alex Cross series.

REVIEW: Worst Case by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Worst Case
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 356
Rang: 5/5
Read: Dec. 4-6, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 63
Format: Print

First Line: The stocky man with the salt-and-pepper hair felt light-headed as he crossed beneath the marble arch into Washington Square Park.

The son of one of New York’s wealthiest families is snatched off the street and held hostage. But this kidnapper isn’t demanding money. Instead, he quizzes his prisoner on the price others pay for his life of luxury … and wrong answers are fatal. Detective Michael Bennett heads the investigation. With ten kids of his own, he can’t understand what could lead someone to target anyone’s children. When another student from a powerful family disappears, the FBI sends in its top abduction specialist: Agent Emily Parker. Bennett’s job and love life suddenly get even more complicated. Before Bennett has a chance to protest the FBI’s intrusion on his case, the killer mastermind changes his routine. His plan leads up to the most devastating demonstration yet – one that could bring cataclysmic ruin to every inch of New York City.

This is the third in the Michael Bennett series, and it is the most current one until the fourth is due to release in 2011. Personally, I felt like this was the best book in the series so far. I had been a little unsure about Bennett’s character (partly because he simply isn’t Alex Cross, my all-time favorite series character), but in this book I really started to like him. I enjoyed the storyline of the book, the villain was original. There’s starting to be a little bit of romance in Bennett’s life for the first time since his wife’s death in the first book. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this series to anyone.

REVIEW: Cross by James Patterson

by James Patterson

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 377
Rang: 5/5
Read: Oct. 25-29, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish That Series Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 57

First Line: “I’m pregnant, Alex.”

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, D.C. Police Department, when his wife was gunned down by an unknown assailant. He wanted revenge, but his children needed him. So he poured himself into his job. But eventually he burned out. That’s what has led him to resign from the FBI and take up practicing psychology full-time. Things are going well in his life for the first time in a long time … at least until his old partner, John Sampson, shows up with a serial rape case asking for help. When a connection to Maria’s death pops up during the investigation, Alex may finally get the chance to seek vengeance for his wife’s death. Will he finally be able to get his answers?

This is the twelfth in the Alex Cross series and I still can’t get enough of this series! Overall I enjoyed this book. I’m glad that there was some closure for Alex regarding Maria’s death. But I have to admit, I didn’t really care for the way this book began. It was kind of confusing in places. But overall, it was still great. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good, quick read.

REVIEW: Predator by Patricia Cornwell

by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 456
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 10-14, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish that Series Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 54

First Line: It is Sunday afternoon and Dr. Kay Scarpetta is in her office at the National Forensic Academy in Hollywood, Florida, where clouds are building, promising another thunderstorm.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida when a new case comes her way. With the help of her team, Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy, they will uncover a trail of surprising clues. Two sisters have gone missing, and the clues are confusing. Someone is trying to point Kay in a particular direction regarding this case. While another killer, one safely behind bars and involved in a psychiatric study with Benton, tries to send Kay in another direction. One by one, connections will be made and all leads will point to the psychopathic mind of a jailed serial killer’s mind.

I enjoyed this book … until the ending (or lack thereof). I suppose the next book in this series will begin where this one abruptly left off. There were quite a few unanswered questions in this book. Overall, though, I thought that this book was a lot better than the past couple of books in this series, but it’s still not nearly as good as the earliest book in this series.

REVIEW: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

Ice Cold
by Tess Gerritsen

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 322
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: Oct. 6-9, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish that Series Challenge
Yearly Count: 53

First Line: She was the chosen one.

Maura Isles goes to Wyoming for a medical conference. There she meets a man that she went to college with and she makes a split second decision to go skiing with him, his daughter and two of his friends. That uncharacteristic decision will put her life at risk. Getting lost a snowstorm, they end up in a place called Kingdom Come. And Kingdom Come is not somewhere they want to be, it’s an abandoned village with some strange clues left behind. Several days later Jane Rizzoli, back in Boston, receives word that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain revine after a terrible car accident. Jane is determined to find out exactly what happened to her friend, but the investigation that she becomes involved in out in Wyoming will prove quite interesting. There are some people who will do anything in order to keep the truth about the people who used to reside in Kingdom Come, but Jane just can’t let things go.

This is the most recent installment in the Rizzoli and Isles series and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I must say, though, that there were some spots in the book that were just unbelievable to me. And I’m very interested to see what the next book in this series will bring based on the ending of this book. I have really enjoyed catching up with this series, and I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a great read!

REVIEW: The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen

The Keepsake
by Tess Gerritsen

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 349
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 4-5, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Finish That Series Challenge
Yearly Count: 46

First Line: He is coming for me.

A mummy is discovered in the basement of the Crispin Museum in Boston. Nobody knew that it was there, so there is a great deal of excitement surrounding its discovery. Medical Examiner Maura Isles is invited to the hospital to attend the CT scan of the mummy. But what is found during the CT scan is unmistakable – a very modern bullet in the mummy’s leg. This turn of events brings Detective Jane Rizzoli onto the case. The discovery of this modern-day murder victim prompts a search of the Crispin Museum, where remains of another murder victim is found. Realizing that there is a maniac on the loose, Jane Rizzoli becomes very curious about one of the employees of the museum, a woman who seems to have a lot to hide. Having to deal with a murderer who is very proficient in ancient death rituals, it will take a lot of effort from Maura and Jane to track down and stop the Archaeology Killer.

This is the seventh in the Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series and it just keeps getting better and better. This one I read over the course of 24 hours and just loved every moment of it! It was such a fast-paced book with great twists and turns, and the ending was really surprising for me. I really enjoyed the Egyptian aspect to it, having always been interested in Egypt and mummies. I highly recommend this series to everyone who loves a great mystery. Plus, now we Tess Gerritsen fans can enjoy the Rizzoli & Isles series on TV as an added bonus :) I already have the most recent book in this series on hold at the library and am anxiously awaiting my turn for it!!

REVIEW: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

The Mephisto Club
by Tess Gerritsen

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 351
Rating: 3/5
Read: Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Finish That Series Challenge
Yearly Count: 44

First Line: They looked like the perfect family.

Evil is walking the streets of Boston. And it’s Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli who catch the first case on Christmas. The murder scene looks like a strange satanic ritual has occurred. But the clues eventually lead them to psychiatrist  Joyce O’Donnell – a woman that Jane absolutely detests. They uncover that O’Donnell belongs to a strange club, the Mephisto Club, which is dedicated to proving that Satan himself exists among us. But it becomes clear that someone is targeting the members of the Mephisto Club. Has someone infiltrated their club, or have they simply drawn the attention of an evil entity?

I will admit, this was not my favorite book. I have liked every book in the Rizzole and Isles series so far, but this one fell a little short for me. I didn’t really care for all the information about evil, Satan, the Bible, you get the point. I also didn’t like the back and forth the book had because Ms. Gerritsen was tying two separate story lines in the same book and didn’t connect them until near the very end. It just wasn’t my favorite book. I hope that the next book in this series is better.