5/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson

The Big Bad Wolf
by James Patterson

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 398
Rating: 5/5
Read: Apr. 27-30, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; 2010 Celebrate the Author Challenge; Finish That Series Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 21

First Line: There was an improbable murder story told about the Wolf that had made its way to the police lore and then spread quickly from Washington to New York to London and to Moscow.

Alex Cross is having a little trouble adjusting to his new career in the FBI. It’s almost as if he’s halfway on the fast track when it comes to his agent training. But his first case as an agent has everyone confused. Throughout the country, beautiful women are being kidnapped. But it gets worse than that, these women are actually being purchased as slaves. Behind all this, is someone known only as the Wolf. No one really knows who the Wolf really is, although there are pretty good suspicions that he’s somehow involved in organized crime. Struggling with some issues in his home life as well as feeling slightly out of the loop in regards to this case, Alex Cross has to figure this out before the Wolf comes after Alex.

This is the 9th book in the Alex Cross series. This series has got to be my absolute favorite in the world, Mr. Patterson has really created some monsters in his Cross books! And the Wolf is no exception! I love that I still don’t know who the Wolf actually is, it makes me look forward even more to the next book in this series. I know some people aren’t too fond of Patterson’s books, but for me they are great! If I’m stuck in a reading slump, a Patterson book will usually draw me in with the first few pages. The suspense is always great and the twists and turns that come with the Alex Cross books are amazing. I just love them!!

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4/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Carved in Bone
by Jefferson Bass

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 317
Rating: 4/5
Read: Apr. 24-27, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 20

First Line: I picked up the hunting knife with my left hand and tested its heft, then shifted it to my right hand to compare.

Anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton has spent his career building the Body Farm. But now he’s being called upon to solve the murder of a young woman in a remote mountain community. This community is very insular and are not pleased when Brockton comes around investigating. A long-buried secret will come to a head when Dr. Brockton’s investigation threatens to open doors that most people would prefer to keep closed.

This is the first in the Body Farm series. Overall I enjoyed it, but I really did have a few issues with the technicality of it all. First of all, at one point Dr. Brockton, is essentially processing a crime scene. I had a bit of a problem with that because Dr. Brockton is an anthropologist, not a CSI or police officer. Also the overall character of Dr. Brockton seemed a little underdeveloped to me. I’m sure it will come together better in later books in this series, but it did bother me a little bit. Overall though, I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing on with this series, but I think it could have been better.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell

Unnatural Exposure
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1997
Pages: 338
Rating: 4/5
Read: Apr. 18-21, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 19

First Line: Night fell clean and cold in Dublin, and wind moaned beyond my room as if a million pipes played the air.

While doing a series of lectures in Dublin, Ireland, Dr. Kay Scarpetta gets a chance to investigate some unsolved cases that appear to be related to some similar unsolved crimes back at home. Five dismembered and beheaded bodies were found in Ireland years ago, now four have been found in the States. When the fifth one is found in Virginia, Dr. Scarpetta isn’t convinced that it is related to the others. Her suspicions are confirmed when she realizes that there is something even worse with this case: the killer is armed with smallpox.

This is the eighth book in the Kay Scarpetta series. Overall it was a pretty decent book, but I felt like the storyline was a little weak in spots and it felt a little far-reaching. I felt as if the story was moving along quite well and then out of left field came the smallpox angle. I personally didn’t get why that aspect was even in the book. I’m still into this series, but I really didn’t think that this was the best book by any means.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Jane Rizzoli, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen

The Apprentice
by Tess Gerritsen

Copyright: 2002
Pages: 366
Rating: 4/5
Read: Apr. 14-18, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Random Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 18

First Line: Today I watched a man die.

Detective Jane Rizzoli somehow managed to survive the previous summer in Boston when she had to face The Surgeon. Still healing emotionally from the effects The Surgeon had on her, Rizzoli is not quite ready when murders begin occurring again that have eerily similar pattern to them. A pattern that suggests The Surgeon is back. But he’s not – he’s still locked safely away in prison … or is he? So maybe he has an acolyte somewhere out there, a maniac who is staging his murders to look like those of The Surgeon. Forced to face The Surgeon once again, Jane Rizzoli is shocked by just how personal it will get this time around.

I read The Surgeon late last year and really loved it. This one was good as well, but I have my issues with it. First of all, at the end of The Surgeon, Warren Hoyt (aka The Surgeon) was put away, so I’m not really quite sure why Ms. Gerritsen felt the need to bring him back. I know it gave more insight into the character of Jane, but I really didn’t feel like it was necessary. I know a lot of authors bring back the bad guys, but I’m not sure Warren Hoyt needed to come back so soon, it probably would have been better if he had reappeared in a later book. Anyway, that’s just my personal gripe. After reading this book, I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not I like Jane’s character. Parts of me just want to slap her and tell her to get over herself – like her jealousy about her previous partner’s new wife – seriously? I’m going to continue on with this series, and I hope that Jane’s character grows on me some more. Overall, I enjoyed this book, I just had some minor gripes about it here and there, nothing major though. I would recommend this book and this series.

4/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: The Dying Game by Beverly Barton

The Dying Game
by Beverly Barton

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 440
Rating: 4/5
Read: Apr. 9-13, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Random Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 17

First Line: The intensely bright lights blinded her.

It’s the ultimate game. The rules are simple: to win, you have to kill. To lose, you will have to die. The victims are former beauty queens who are found brutally murdered. Lindsay McAllister was a rookie detective when her first case was the murder of Judd Walker’s wife. The murder shattered Judd and really affected Lindsay as well. Now, years later, Lindsay has to tell Judd that his wife’s murderer is killing again. As the body count continues to rise, Lindsay realizes that the only way she will ever stop this killer is to play the game herself.

I’ve only read one other Beverly Barton book a few years ago, but I have had this one on my shelf for some time. I was definitely not disappointed. I really fell in love with the characters – I’m intrigued by who Griffin Powell is and what is in his past. I thought that the plot was really interesting. I don’t know how all these authors can come up with so many different plots, it’s really awesome for people like me who devour mysteries as often as I can! Overall, I would really recommend this book. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it wasn’t too gruesome either. I’m really looking forward to getting more into the Griffin Powell series and reading more Beverly Barton books in the future!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell

Cause of Death
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1996
Pages: 332
Rating: 3/5
Read: Apr. 1-8, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 16

First Line: On the last morning of Virginia’s bloodiest year since the Civil War, I built a fire and sat facing a window of darkness where at sunrise I knew I would find the sea.

.On New Year’s Eve, Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds herself diving in a ship graveyard to see firsthand the scene where the body of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter, has been found. What kind of story was Eddings chasing that would result in his untimely watery death? But what Dr. Scarpetta really finds out about this story is more unbelievable and far-reaching than she could have ever imagined.

This is the seventh book in this series and I have to say this was not my favorite book in this series. I don’t think I really liked the storyline, to be honest. To me, it had a really slow start and then it reached the climax and that was it. It didn’t feel as well put together as the other books in this series.