Review: Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Sutton
by J.R. Moehringer

Sutton

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 334

Read: June 13 – 24, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased New

 

Blurb: Willie Sutton was born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, and came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren’t failing outright, causing countless Americans to lose their jobs and homes, they were being propped up with emergency bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out, only one way to win the girl of his dreams.

So began the career of America’s most successful bank robber. Over three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List.

But the public rooted for Sutton. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name.

Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer’s retelling, it was more than poverty or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. In all Sutton’s crimes and confinements, his first love (and first accomplice) was never far from his thoughts. And when Sutton finally walked free – a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969 – he immediately set out to find her.

Poignant, comic, fast-paced and fact-studded, Sutton tells a story of economic pain that feels eerily modern, while unfolding a story of doomed love that is forever timeless.


Review: This book has been sitting on my shelf for a few years now and I decided it was finally time to get to it. Maybe I had too high of expectations for this one. I have been reading more historical fiction this year than normal, and they’ve all been winners. So I went into this one thinking I’d really enjoy it. But it ultimately fell a little flat for me.

I found it hard to get into. I’m not sure if it was the writing style with the constant flashbacks or the actually story itself. But something just didn’t click very well with me. Obviously it wasn’t a terrible book, because I did finish it. But it’s not something that appealed to me a great deal. I found Willie’s character to be completely unreliable at the end and I struggled with a big revelation near the very end of the book. I wasn’t prepared really for how things turned out and so I was a little frustrated by that. So this one was just an “ok” book for me.

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Review: Law and Disorder by Heather Graham

Law and Disorder
by Heather Graham

Law and Disorder

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 256

Read: June 1 – 22, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Barnes & Noble Serial Reads

 

Blurb: Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man…and he’s holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor’s eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can’t let Kody die. He won’t. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.


Review: This was the June selection on Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads. Having enjoyed the last two months’ selections, I was eager to see what would be on the agenda for June. This one didn’t really do much for me.

I don’t read a lot of romance to begin with. So I was a little leery to give this one a go, but I figured it was free so why not. (Plus I unexpectedly enjoyed Beastly last month.) It left me with a definite “eh” feeling. I think a lot of my problem was that I found Kody’s character to be pretty foolish. I also felt like the storyline was rushed.

I’ve never read anything by Heather Graham before and I have a really bad feeling that this was not necessarily a good place for me to start. But I finished it and while it didn’t really appeal all that much to me, I’m sure romance readers will enjoy it.

Review: Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie

Better Read Than Dead
by Victoria Laurie

Better Read Than Dead

Copyright: 2005

Pages: 296

Read: June 18 – 21, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: It’s autumn in Detroit, and psychic intuitive Abby Cooper is falling to pieces. She was about the nestle into her cozy, almost-renovated new house – and into the arms of FBI agent Dutch Rivers. Then, faster than you can say trick or treat, her plans fell apart with one phone call…

As a favor for a friend, Abby agrees to read tarot cards at a wedding and finds herself predicting the future for some very shady guests. Word of her talents reaches a Mob boss who wants her help in some business matters, and he doesn’t take no for an answer. Then the police seek out her psychic intuition to shed light on a masked man who’s been attacking women, and Abby’s working for both sides of the law. With all of Dutch’s time going to a big FBI case and his sultry new partner, Abby’s on her own, leading her to wonder: Why didn’t I see this coming?


Review: This is the second book in the Psychic Eye Mystery series. I read the first book back in January and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that I went ahead and ordered the second and third books in the series from Paperbackswap. So when I was looking for a second in the series for a particular call out in a Goodreads reading challenge, this one immediately caught my eye. I was eager to revisit Abby Cooper!

And I really enjoyed this one. I just like Abby’s character. She reminds me a lot of the Harper Connelly series from Charlaine Harris. She’s just very relatable and down-to-earth. The supporting characters are also all very well developed and enjoyable as well. The storylines in this book were interesting and I had a good time “working the case” with Abby.

So definitely a fun, light paranormal series that I’m looking forward to reading more from. I’d for sure recommend this book and the series to all readers! There’s something for everyone from paranormal lovers to romance lovers to mystery lovers. Definitely recommended!!!

Review: Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel
by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 310

Read: June 10 – 11, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Things are going well for Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. She has solved some of the city’s toughest homicides, and Alex Kork, one of the most dangerous criminals she ever arrested, is finally out of the picture. But things turn sour quickly when a group of vigilantes on a murderous spree decide to take down a cop and the people she cares about, and they get downright awful when Jack discovers Kork may not be dead after all…


Review: Ok, I’m not going to lie here … this book was not up to par in comparison to the others in the series.

This particular installment is set over the course of maybe 8 or 9 hours and it’s definitely action packed … but that’s about all that was positive about it…. It started out interesting with the Alex Kork aspect and I even enjoyed the beginning of the vigilante part of the book. But then the two storylines converged and it just didn’t work as well for me.

The only reason I read this book as quickly as I did was because it was the only book I had with me on my train ride home from Chicago. I just had a lot higher expectations for this book. I think a part of me was a little disappointed that there was no real case to solve with Jack and her partner Herb. The humor that is prevalent in all of these books was just plain stupid at times because it was so inappropriate.

This one just didn’t work much for me. It’s definitely a weak link in the rest of this series. So if you’ve never read from this series before, do not start with this one. I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Cherry Bomb, but that’s really just because there’s a cliffhanger (another pet peeve!) at the end of this one…

Review: Jury of One by Laura Bradford

Jury of One
by Laura Bradford

Jury of One

Copyright: 2005

Pages: 252

Read: June 9 – 10, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Used Book Store

 

 

Blurb: Beaches, boardwalks and the promise of carefree summer days mark the start of tourist season in the small, scenic town of Ocean Point, New Jersey. But this scene is marred suddenly by the body of a young woman found bludgeoned to death. It’s the first in a string of seemingly random, senseless murders, the only connection being the odd positioning of he victims’ fingers.

It’s a crisis that puts local detective Mitch Burns on edge. Murder in a peaceful beach town is bad enough, but a serial killer at the height of tourist season is worse. Much worse. Newly hired local reporter Elise Jenkins cuts her journalistic teeth on this one – especially when her search for the truth leader her on a dangerous hunt for the killer with a face whose familiarity masks deadly intent.


Review: I picked this one up on a total whim the last time I was at my favorite used book store. I don’t usually read a lot of cozy mysteries, but this one really caught my eye.

I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit. I really liked the characters. At one time, I was a journalism major. Anyway, I really related to Elise’s character in a way. She’s the type of journalist I would have liked to have been – I really liked how she gave Mitch a lot of room in regards to the investigation. It was a sigh of relief to see the media portrayed as not overbearing and intrusive. I’m also intrigued by the attraction between Elise and Mitch … I’d be curious to see how that plays out in future books.

The who-dun-it part was not a complete surprise, as there were subtle hints dropped throughout the book. But it was still fun to see how things unfolded. It was an interesting storyline.

So overall it’s a cute book that I enjoyed. It was a fun and easy read. I’d definitely recommend it!

Review: City of Bones by Michael Connelly

City of Bones
by Michael Connelly

City of Bones

Copyright: 2002

Pages: 421

Read: June 3 – June 7, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: On New Year’s Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills – and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It’s a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can’t let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart – or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.


Review: This is the 8th book in the Harry Bosch series. And I think this one was one of my favorites in the series so far! It was a really great book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

There were a lot of twists and turns here and there as well as some interesting revelations and decisions. It will be interesting to see where Mr. Connelly takes Harry from here after the ending of this book…

I really felt like Harry was a different person in this book. It was probably because of that rookie cop mentioned in the blurb. He was just a lot happier for the most part.

Definitely makes me look forward to reading the next book relatively soon!

Review: Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake
by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake

Copyright: 1995

Pages: 329

Read: May 30 – June 2, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: When Goldy, owner of Goldilocks’ Catering, faces the challenge of whipping up a sumptuous low-fat feast for the Mignon Cosmetic’s company banquet, she rises to the occasion brilliantly … only to discover just how ugly the beauty biz can be!

On the day of the banquet Goldy finds herself confronting an angry mob of demonstrators – “Spare the Hares” – who object to Mignon Cosmetics’ animal-testing policies. As she struggles to carry forty pounds of low-fat fare from her van to the mall where the banquet is being held, she hears an ominous squeal of tires and a horrifying thump. Seconds later, a Mignon employee lies dead on the pavement. And soon the police discover that this hit-and-run was no accident.

Now Goldy is enmeshed up to her saute pans in a homicide investigation. Could the murder have had something to do with Spare the Hares – or with the exotic flower found near the dead body? Though busy serving up Hoisin Turkey and Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins, Goldy decides to start digging at Mignon’s million-dollar cosmetics counter. But when another murder takes place and Goldy herself is attacked, the caterer turned sleuth knows she must step up her search for a gruesome killer. For this time was only a warning. Next time she’ll be dead – and it won’t be pretty.


Review: It has been ages since I read the fourth book in this series, so I was a little nervous picking up the fifth. However I am happy to say that I easily fell right back in with Goldy and her crew.

I thought that the storyline in this installment was interesting. The killer was not all that surprising, but there were a few times when I was convinced it was someone else. This was an easy read that I enjoyed. It definitely has renewed my interest in reading a bit more from this series.

A fun installment in a fun series – definitely recommended!!