Book Review: Body of Lies by Iris Johansen

Body of Lies
by Iris Johansen

Body of Lies

Copyright: 2002

Pages: 369

Read: March 16-19, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased used

 

 

Blurb: Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan has been summoned to Baton Rouge by a high-ranking government official to identify the remains of an unknown murder victim. Eve wants nothing to do with the project. She has finally found peace from her own tragic past, living a quiet life with Atlanta detective Joe Quinn and her adopted daughter, Jane. Then a stunning series of seemingly unrelated events turns Eve’s new world upside down.

Now, in a special government facility, she takes on the project of identifying the victim’s skeleton. But she hasn’t even begun when the first death occurs. Someone totally ruthless, someone who can strike anywhere at any time and with seeming immunity, is determined to put a halt to her work, her life, and the lives of those she loves. Eve has stumbled onto a chilling conspiracy. There is only one person who can give her the devastating truth … and he is already dead.


Review: Hm… I have some issues with this book. First it’s been ages since I read the first three books in the series, so I was basically going in blind having little to no recollection of the characters/past storylines. This probably affected my opinion somewhat. However, I was disappointed that I had someone pegged as not quite kosher immediately. It was all too cookie-cutter neat to be believable in my opinion. And also I had an issue with Jane’s character- she’s supposed to be a preteen, right?! So why is she cursing in front of her parents? My mom would have brought me down ten notches if I had acted that way. Eve never blinked an eye. Not believable or appropriate. The suspense was decent enough but not really surprising at the end. This was more of an “eh” book for me and I doubt I’ll be rushing to read any further in this series…

Review: Absolute Power by David Baldacci

Absolute Power
by David Baldacci

760769

Copyright: 1996

Pages: 505

Read: March 6-15, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased used

 

Blurb: ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION…In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping a burglar behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and the witness is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal slaying involving the President of the United States.

ABSOLUTE DANGER…Luther Whitney is the career break-in artist who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alan Richmond is the charming U.S. President with the power to commit any crime. And Jack Graham is the young attorney, caught in a vortex between the absolute truth – and …

ABSOLUTE POWER…A tale of greed, sex, ambition, and murder, this is the novel everyone has been talking about … the shattering, relentlessly suspenseful thriller that will change the way you think about Washington – and power – forever.


Review: I’ve had this one on my shelf for a few years now. I always like David Baldacci’s books, and this one sounded really interesting. The premise sounds so exciting! And it was his debut novel, so I figured it was something I should probably eventually read. And this is a heck of a good book.

My one and only complaint is the length of this book. It was about 100-150 pages too long. However, I understand why Mr. Baldacci set things up so meticulously in the beginning. There were quite a few places where the story seemed to drag on, but the last 200 or so pages were fast paced and action packed!

This book is a prime example of how good people end up doing bad things. Whether it’s to save their job, their life, their family. People will go to extraordinary measures to protect themselves and those that they love. This book shows just how far people will go for those reasons.

Review: Wildcat by Sara Paretsky

Wildcat
by Sara Paretsky

Wildcat.jpg
Copyright: 2017

Pages: 46

Read: March 1, 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Publicist for review

 

Blurb: Sara Paretsky, one of the most legendary crime writers of all time, presents an exclusive and thrilling short story featuring beloved investigator V.I. Warshawski as a ten-year-old girl on her first investigation.

V.I. Warshawski developed her strength and sense of justice at a very early age.  It’s 1966 and on the south side of Chicago racial tensions are at an all-time high. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading marches at Marquette Park and many in the neighborhood are very angry. With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds. What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous.  As the day goes on and the conflict at the park reaches a fever pitch Victoria realizes she must use her courage and ingenuity if she wants to keep herself and her family members out of harm’s way.


Review: Confession: I’ve never read any of the V.I. Warshawski books. So when I was sent the widget to this short story I thought it would be interesting to know about V.I.’s first case – from when she was just a child. I was very drawn to the fact that it was going to be set in 1966 with the racial tensions experienced in the 60s. It’s very timely when you think about what we have seen happen these past few years.

So I knew it was a short story, which isn’t normally my thing, but I figured it would be a quick and easy read to knock out. It was quick, but I had a little trouble following the story in places. Mainly I found myself re-reading entire passages because I had trouble keeping who was talking straight. I don’t know if it was because I was unfamiliar with the characters or my attention span at the time.

So overall I thought this was a fun and interesting introduction to V.I. Warshawski for me. It definitely left me eager to start this series sooner rather than later … and I already have the first book in the series on my shelf! So even if short stories aren’t your thing, I would definitely recommend giving this one a go.

Mini Reviews: Ceremony in Death & Hard Eight

ceremony-in-deathTitle: Ceremony in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read: Feb. 9-15, 2017
Pages: 310
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts:  This is the fifth book in the In Death series. I read #4 back in the beginning of 2016. I don’t remember much about it other than that I really liked it. So I was looking forward to dipping back into this series. But this one fell flat for me. It had to deal with Wiccans and witchcraft. Which if you’re a long-time follower of mine, you know that I only sparingly dabble in anything dealing with witchcraft/magic. So my personal feelings on these types of storylines definitely affected my overall opinion of the book. But I will still continue on with the series and hopefully the sixth book will be back on track to what I prefer.


hard-eightTitle: Hard Eight
Author: Janet Evanovich
Read: Feb. 16-24, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts:  I picked this one up because I needed something light after reading the J.D. Robb book. I read a few of these books last year until I kind of burned out when they started to all feel the same. So I was looking forward to knocking another one of these series books out of the way. Overall it wasn’t a bad book. I will say that Albert Kloughn has to be one of the funniest characters I’ve seen in a book in a while. He definitely made the book much better. But seriously …. how many times can Stephanie’s car get blown up? At this point I can’t help but think that Ms.Evanovich needs to get some new ideas for her books – it’s no longer funny when Stephanie’s car gets blown up … it just makes me roll my eyes at this point.

Not a happy Lady Gaga fan….

So this is wayyyy off topic of my normal book posts. But I’m pissed. Beyond pissed.

I have enjoyed Lady Gaga’s music for years. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’ve always wanted to see her in concert. She has to put on an awesome show! So I was really excited to see that she was coming to St. Louis when her tour was announced. Yeah, it’s through the week but I had my childcare lined out and was ready to buy me some tickets!

I even pre-ordered her new CD to get a presale code for the tickets. I figured that would be a good use of $17 …. I’d get her CD and a leg up to grab some good tickets!

I’m waiting patiently for 10am to roll around yesterday. At 10:00am on the frigging dot I log into Ticketmaster and put in my presale code. It “unlocks” and I click the search button …. for the site to essentially crash all to hell around me. For 35 minutes it was essentially inoperable … I watched that stupid ticket fill up and down in blue for 35 minutes. No joke. By the time it finally came back up and gave me the “best available” seats … they were shit. Absolute shit. And $300 for 2. For shit tickets? Hell to the no.

I was pissed. I was depressed. I was almost to the point of crying. Because I *knew* scalpers had been at work. The tickets were already being listed on the secondary market sites. And there I was stuck with the option of buying a good seat for triple its value on the secondary market or a shitty seat that I didn’t want for the face value. I chose to walk away.

I have used secondary market before. That’s how I was able to see Adele. And I paid out the nose for those tickets. And I said I would never do that again. Adele didn’t get that money out of me. Some random Joe with an awesome computer program got my money. And it left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Then tonight my sister-in-law asks me if I bought Lady Gaga tickets. I told her about the drama filled morning I had yesterday. And she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t surprised … she had a friend on Facebook posting a presale code to all her friends. WHAT THE EFF? THAT is the type of person that ruins it for someone like me. Someone who tried to do things the honest way. I gave Lady Gaga my money for her music … in return I got a personalized presale code to be able to have the leg up on everyone else and be able to see her in concert. And yet there’s random people on Facebook posting presale codes? This is everything that is wrong with this industry. Seriously. All it does is make it impossible for average people to see the concerts they want. But come on, at some point enough is enough.

And I feel like it’s finally going to start going that way…. on Tuesday I bought Metallica tickets for my husband in June. Spent $250 a ticket for some “enhanced experience” tickets. To get everything all settled up and printed out to find out that MY credit card and MY id had to be presented to use these tickets. I wasn’t even planning on going to that show – the other ticket was intended for my brother-in-law! But I’m going … because I couldn’t figure out how to get them to change the name on the tickets to reflect my husband’s name. (My sister-in-law ended up buying two tickets for her and my BIL, so now we’re all going…) But the point of this is that using credit card/ID entry is how this industry is going to have to stop these scalpers. I was reading somewhere a while back that Eric Church had actually voided a bunch of tickets to his shows because he had found out that they were being resold at unbelievable amounts. YES for him! Thank you!

Because at the end of the day I wanted to see Lady Gaga in concert. And now I don’t get to. Because people can’t be honest and truthful and do things the proper way. And I’m not going to give some scalper my money. Lady Gaga deserves that money. But now she’s not going to get it either… and I don’t get to see her concert. I’m still peeved about the whole situation 😦

Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard

Drop Dead Gorgeous
by Linda Howard

dropCopyright: 2006

Pages: 347

Read: Feb. 4-6, 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Library

Blurb: Blair Mallory has already survived one murder attempt. Now, while planning her wedding and dealing with holiday-season madness, Blair once again dodges a bullet. Or more precisely, a Buick. And though the driver’s identity remains a mystery, his or her murderous intentions are all too clear.

Or are they? After all, Blair’s homicidal ex-husband and his partner in crime/wife are safely behind bars. And even Wyatt Bloodsworth, her police detective groom-to-be, isn’t inclined to believe she’s being targeted again. All of which makes Blair wonder if her close call was simply a mishap. But the wondering stops when she narrowly cheats death again in another seemingly innocent accident. Two strikes is all it takes to convince Blair that she’s back in someone’s crosshairs. And the only thing more frightening is that Wyatt still doubts her. That means this time, no one will be watching Blair’s back when she sets out to get the drop on her would-be killer–before whoever it is finally drops her.


Review: Here’s the deal. This is wayyyyy out of my comfort zone. I do not read very many romance novels. It’s just never been my thing. I picked this one up from the library because (1) I needed a romance book that was on a particular Goodreads listopia for a GR challenge, (2) It had a pink cover – again, needed for a GR challenge and (3) My library had a copy of it on the shelf. That was it. I knew going into it that it was technically the second book in a series. I didn’t think it would matter much because (1) I didn’t think I’d be all that invested in the characters/story and (2) I honestly didn’t care – I figured it would be a read it and forget about it book.

What I didn’t anticipate was actually enjoying this book. Ha! I mean, it’s not like I’m going to go out and buy every Linda Howard book ever published. Nor will I be trading all my mystery/thriller books in for shelves upon shelves of romance novels. But it made me realize that I should probably branch out more into the romance genre than I have in the past. It was actually enjoyable to me.

Now that’s not to say it was perfect. Because let me tell you – Blair’s character was the most annoying ever! Like seriously! She was so ridiculous at times I wanted to strangle her. Who makes lists upon lists of “transgressions” that their fiancée does? And by “transgressions” I’m talking about things like “made fun of for having a period.” Stupid stuff. I don’t know what was up with her personality, but it was harsh and not very likable to me. Now she was pretty funny at times, but no amount of humor could possibly make up for the sheer irritation she causes.

So what’s the take away from this? You may potentially be seeing more romance novels mentioned here on my blog. It was a quick read that I liked.

January 2017 Wrap Up

Hm. So I didn’t manage to blog a single book from my January reading. Oops! So I’ll just lump ’em all together in this handy dandy wrap up 🙂

quantico

This was my first read of the year. I picked it up mainly because it started with a “Q” and fulfilled quite a few of my Goodreads challenges. Overall I liked it. But it ultimately was slightly forgettable. So I probably wouldn’t be recommending this one to everyone I see…

 

 


 

abby

This was a cute and fun read! I liked it well enough to go ahead and order the second and third books in the series from Paperbackswap. I don’t read a ton of paranormal or cozy mysteries, but this one was an enjoyable blend of those two genres.

 

 


starter

This was definitely outside my comfort zone for sure. And I think I may have been more generous than I should have on GR when I rated it at 4 stars. Looking back on it, this was probably more of a 3 star read for me. It was ok, but not something that really did much for me. I didn’t find it as creepy as it could have been…

 

 


eeny

This book!  I will be singing its praises all year! This one was my first 5 star read of 2017! And I’m kicking myself for not starting this book sooner than I did! It sucked me in from the beginning and I couldn’t get to the end soon enough. I just absolutely loved it. LOVED it. Highly, highly, highly recommended!!

 

 


unlucky

I snuck this one in at the last minute. I can always count on James Patterson for a quick and easy read. This one was enjoyable, but I found the three separate storylines to be a little overwhelming. Why does Mr. Patterson always feel there has to be so much going on? But it was nice to join up with the Women’s Murder Club for another installment and I always look forward to more!