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

REVIEW: Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell

Black Notice
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1999
Pages: 441
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 17-23, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 32

First Line: The late morning blazed with blue skies and the colors of fall, but none of it was for me.

When the body of an unidentified man is found in a cargo ship in Richmond, cause of death and an identification is nearly impossible. But Dr. Kay Scarpetta is able to make out an odd tattoo on the decomposing flesh. It will be that tattoo that will lead Kay to Interpol, over in France. But she also has to deal with a lot of stuff on the homefront. There seems to be someone out to get her and Marino: someone wants both of them out of their jobs. In order to figure out this latest puzzle, Kay will have to try and protect her career while also trying to get to the truth at the same time.

This is the 10th book the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. I personally felt like it was another good installment in this series. However, I did have a few complaints: first, I got really tired of Kay and Marino constantly fighting in this book. I understood that emotions were still raw from what happened in the previous book, and I also understood that they were both having to deal with some changes in their jobs, but seriously? It was a little annoying after a while – I mean, their characters have always kind of gotten on each other’s nerves, but it was really obnoxious in this book. I also had some issues with Lucy’s attitude in this book. I hope that the characters straighten their attitudes out in the next installment of this book. Overall, I’m still enjoying this series and I did enjoy this book, but it wasn’t as good as some of the earlier books in the series.

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Challenge Wrap-Up, READING CHALLENGES 2010

Finished Challenge – Thriller & Suspense 2010

Book Chick City hosted this challenge – and I sure am a sucker for thriller/suspense books considering it’s my favorite genre 🙂 I had a lot of fun reading the books for this challenge, and it surprised me how easily I was able to fit the books that I already had on my shelves to the list of sub-genres provided. Here is what I read for this challenge:

  1. Exposed by Alex Kava (Eco-Thriller)
  2. Four Blind Mice by James Patterson (Police Procedural)
  3. Shall We Tell the President? by Jeffrey Archer (Conspiracy Thriller)
  4. Final Breath by Kevin O’Brien (Stalker Thriller)
  5. 18 Billion by Jack Gresham (Terrorist Thriller)
  6. Hotshot by Catherine Mann (Romantic Thriller)
  7. All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell (Serial Killer Thriller)
  8. The Dying Game by Beverly Barton (Private Detective Mystery)
  9. The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen (Medical Thriller)
  10. The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery)
  11. The Alexandria Letter by George R. Honig (Religious Thriller)
  12. The Spire by Richard North Patterson (Psychological Thriller)

For the most part, I enjoyed all of the books that I read for this challenge, but my personal favorite is the book that I just finished, The Spire. (I just can’t stop raving about that book!! It was great!) I’m relieved that I was able to finish a challenge this year, since I have been in somewhat of a slump – I’ve been reading, but most of the books that I’ve been reading have not been all that great to me. But I enjoyed this challenge and if it is hosted again, I will definitely sign up again!!

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

REVIEW: The Spire by Richard North Patterson

The Spire
by Richard North Patterson

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 446
Rating: 5/5
Read: June 11-14, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Celebrate the Author 2010; RYOB 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 31

First Line:Sixteen years after the murder of Angela Hall had precipitated the decline of Caldwell College, Mark Darrow returned to campus, standing in the shadow of the Spire.

Mark Darrow grew up with very little – football was his only real escape. But when he is approached by Lionel Farr, a professor at a nearby college, Darrow is given the opportunity to excel in many areas of his life. Now a successful attorney, Darrow is called back to his alma mater by Farr to become the school’s new president. But coming back to campus brings back terrible memories – a fellow student was murdered during Mark’s senior year – and the person convicted of the murder was Mark’s best friend. Having pushed his friend’s conviction to the back of his mind sixteen years ago, Mark is unable to shake the feeling that something was not right – that the case was not as airtight as everyone seemed to believe. But as Mark begins an informal inquiry into the murder, he will realize that not only is the murderer still out there, but that his life is surely in danger.

Okay, it’s been a while since I have really been drawn into a book, and I must admit it really was a wonderful feeling! I was sucked into this book within the first few pages and I could barely stand to put it down at all! I will confess, however, that I had a pretty good feeling as to who the real bad guy was kind of early on in the book, but I had no idea just how far things would go when my suspicions were first aroused. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book one bit. I simply could not get through it fast enough to find out what the ending would be! I really highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good book to read! I loved it!!

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

REVIEW: The Alexandria Letter by George R. Honig

The Alexandria Letter
by George R. Honig

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 325
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 6-11, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 30

First Line: Late one evening, in the spring of the year 362, the venerable Athanasios, Bishop of Alexandria, received a visit from one of his deacons.

After Cambridge scholar Nathan Tobin discovers an ancient Aramaic letter, he finds himself thrown into an agonizing struggle against powerful forces committed to discrediting him. The Alexandria letter discloses surprising revelations about the lives of Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as shocking claims of duplicity by Paul of Tarsus, which threaten to turn long-held principles of Christianity on their heads. But as he races to verify the authenticity of the letter, he faces rejection by his fellow scholars and sinister opposition from within the Church that aims to stop him at any costs. The Alexandria letter represents the most important work Nathan has ever done, but it may also be the last.

I received this book to review courtesy of Maia Levenson with Phenix & Phenix Publicity.I was excited by the blurb when I was first contacted about this book, I thought it sounded like a book that would be really great and right up my alley. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. But I felt like it had a slightly slow start, the first 50 or so pages were kind of rough for me to get through. But once I got really into the book the pages were flying by! I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES, Thomas Pitt

REVIEW: The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry

The Cater Street Hangman
by Anne Perry

Copyright: 1979
Pages: 247
Rating: 3/5
Read: June 5-8, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 29

First Line: Charlotte Ellison stood in the centre of the withdrawing room, the newspaper in her hand.

There is a murderer running loose in the Cater Street area of London in 1881. The Ellison household is shocked by the gruesome murders. The Ellison girls are proper young Victorian ladies and things like this just aren’t discussed in their household. But when Inspector Pitt comes around asking questions, it becomes apparent that he fancies Charlotte. As Inspector Pitt’s investigation continues, and more murders occur, including one that hits incredibly close to home for the Ellison family, the walls of a carefully structured facade will eventually crumble.

Okay, this is the first in the Thomas Pitt series. I had never read any Anne Perry before and figured this would be a good place to start. For the most part, the book was enjoyable. I am not used to reading historical fiction, but this one read quite easily. But I had some issues with the characters. First of all, I realize that it’s set in 1880’s London. I get that it’s going to be stuffy – but my goodness! Charlotte’s father, Edward, could not have been any more controlling when it came to the information that was discussed in the household. I can understand not wanting to discuss murders and the like, but it was happening in their neighborhood, it was bound to be a topic up for discussion. And don’t even get me started on the Grandmother – her character was about as loathsome as you could get. I just wanted the old bat to shut up! The story itself was decent. I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary work up to the eventual outcome of the story, but the murderer ended up being a pretty good surprise. Overall I’m not going to go screaming off the rooftops about how wonderful this book was, but I am curious about continuing on with this series and seeing where Charlotte and Thomas end up.

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

REVIEW: The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

The Sinner
by Tess Gerritsen

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 355
Rating: 5/5
Read: June 2-5, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; 2010 Celebrate the Author Challenge; Random Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 28

First Line: The driver refused to take him any farther.

Christmas is around the corner, and no one is unaffected when they get called out to a brutal crime scene at a convent. Two nuns are found, one dead and one critically injured, after being savagely attacked within the walls of the convent. When medical examiner does the autopsy of the dead woman, she is in for a surprise: Sister Camille gave birth shortly before her murder. When another body is found mutilated beyond recognition, it takes a while for Maura to realize that there might just be a connection between the two cases. But what Maura and Detective Jane Rizzoli uncover about these two cases will prove to be even more shocking and will hit even more closer to home for Maura.

This is the third book in the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series. I particularly enjoyed this book. First off, it was told from Maura’s perspective, which is different from the first two books where Jane tells the story. So that was kind of nice, it let us into Maura’s world a little bit more. I also enjoyed what Jane was going through in her personal life, it really opened her character up a little as well. I know that after I read the previous book, The Apprentice, I complained a little about Jane’s character. I felt like she was a lot more developed and likable in this installment. I enjoy this series, which I find interesting because for the most part, I do not like medical-type books whatsoever. But I have really taken to these books. I’m looking forward to getting the next book in the mail so I can start it!

5/5, Alex Delaware, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman

Blood Test
by Jonathan Kellerman

Copyright: 1986
Pages: 349
Rating: 5/5
Read: May 29 – June 1, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 27

First Line: I sat in the courtroom and watched Richard Moody get the bad news from the judge.

Five-year-old Woody Swope was terribly ill. His parents were unsure about the treatment that he was receiving at the clinic. One day, Woody goes missing from the hospital. Without treatment, Woody’s chances of survival were slim-to-none. Child psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in by the attending physician and cannot seem to shake this case. Alex and his good friend, homicide detective, Milo Sturgis, have to track down Woody and whoever took him. Unfortunately, Milo is limited in what he can do with the case, so it will be up to Alex to unravel the truth behind this little boy and his situation.

This is the second book in the Alex Delaware series. I personally felt like it had a slightly slow start, but overall the book ended up being quite enjoyable. I found myself flying through it with all the twists and turns. Alex can sure find himself in some strange situations, even if his intentions are perfectly good. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t as much character development in this installment as I would have preferred, with Robin out of town the entire book and Milo just playing a secondary role in the case. There was also two story lines going on throughout the book which sometimes made for confusing moments, but overall it was a good book with a good storyline. I would recommend it.