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: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress
by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress

Copyright: 2010

Pages: 318

Read: Aug. 18-Aug. 21, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased at library book sale

 
Blurb: It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won’t send our boys to fight in “foreign wars.”

But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than to bring the war home. Frankie’s radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic Ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention – as the Nazis bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.

Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James hears Frankie’s broadcasts and knows that it is only a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin’s shores. In charge of the town’s mail, Iris believes that her job is to deliver and keep people’s secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean daily, searching in vain for German U-boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet they find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.

Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town’s doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape fragile childhoods and forge a brighter future. When Will follows Frankie’s siren call into the war, Emma’s worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.

 


Review:  I picked this one up at the library book sale about a month ago. It sounded intriguing to me. I don’t read much historical fiction, but something about it drew me in.

Overall I’m kind of stuck as to my opinion on it. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really draw me in like I had hoped for. I never took to any of the characters. I kept waiting and waiting for something, anything, exciting to happen … but nothing ever came. It just fell flat in the ending. I actually laid it down and thought to myself “that’s it?” It just didn’t work all that well for me.

Review: The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

The Jefferson Key
by Steve Berry

The Jefferson Key

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 513

Read: June 19-30, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: Four presidents of the United States have been assassinated – in 1865, 1881, 1901, and 1963 – each murder seemingly unrelated. But what if those presidents were all killed for the same shocking reason: a clause contained in the United States Constitution? This is the question faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone. When President Danny Daniels is nearly killed in the heart of Manhattan, Malone risks his life to foil the murder – only to find himself at odds with the Commonwealth, a secret society of pirates first assembled during the American Revolution. Racing across the nation and taking to the high seas, Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt must break a secret cipher originally possessed by Thomas Jefferson, unravel a mystery concocted by Andrew Jackson, and unearth a document forged by the Founding Fathers themselves – one powerful enough to make the Commonwealth unstoppable.


Review: The last Cotton Malone book in this series is actually one I ended up not finishing. It revolved around a Chinese storyline of some sort and I vaguely remember being heavily pregnant with Katelyn and just not interested. So I DNF’ed it. Seeing as how my daughter is over a year old now, it’s obviously been a while since I last met up with Cotton. I obviously missed something in the previous book (how Cotton and Cassiopeia ended up a couple), but overall that wasn’t really a big surprise.

So what did I think about this book? Well this is the first time Mr. Berry has set Cotton primarily in the United States. And I loved it. My one and only complaint is that it was over 500 pages – common for these books – but definitely tough on me personally as a reader these days. And while this is the 7th in the series, it stands well on its own, but I do highly recommend meeting Cotton from the beginning!

So overall … a good book, if rather long. Definitely recommended.

Review: Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon
by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon

Copyright: 2001

Pages: 401

Read: June 9-18, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work – magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses – and the first two don’t count…


Review: So I read the first book in the Harry Dresden series, Storm Front, a full two years ago. I knew going into this one I might have some problems remembering who was who and what was what. Honestly, I really didn’t have much trouble jumping back in with Harry and his friends.

Overall I suppose this is just an average book. It was just an okay book for me. I want to like paranormal books, but I still have a lot of trouble accepting these crazy happenings. I don’t know, it’s hard for me to explain. I suppose I just have trouble suspending my beliefs long enough and accepting that I’m reading about wizards and werewolves.

So while this book wasn’t bad, it probably won’t be very memorable down the road for me. However, I can say that I’m more than willing to give Harry another chance … maybe in a couple of years 😉

2015.30 REVIEW – Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne

Everything She Forgot
by Lisa Ballantyne

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 409
Rating: 4/5
Read: Sept. 2-7, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 30
Format: Print
Source: PICT Book Tour
Series: N/A

Synopsis:

cover

Driving home, Margaret Holloway is rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage of her car. Just as she begins to panic, a stranger pulls her free and disappears. Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. Flashbacks to the crash are dredging up lost associations from her childhood. And somehow, Margaret knows that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life. As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth-from yourself?

Review:

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a Partners in Crime Book Tour. The thoughts below are my own.

Once, her mother had taken her hand and smoothed it, saying, ‘Some things are best forgotten,’ and so she had forgotten almost everything. (p. 115)

That quote that I included above, “Some things are best forgotten,” is really the heart and soul of this book. As I was reading and watching everything unfold in front of my eyes, it really got me thinking about just how impressive the human mind truly is. What our minds can do with memories is shockingly unreal to be honest.

This was my first time reading a book by Ms. Ballantyne; but it certainly won’t be my last. I took this one on my recent vacation and I loved every page of it. It was easy to read in bits and pieces without getting lost. It kept my interest – in fact, at one point I wanted to just sit in the room and finish the book … not enjoy vacation! Oops!!

This isn’t a fast-paced thriller. Instead it’s a very intricate tale where the story is laid bare little by little. I loved getting to know Maggie, Big George, and even Angus (who was not my favorite character … I had a lot of issues with him after what he let happen to his poor cow). And as I said earlier, it really is interesting to see what the human mind is capable of.

This was a really enjoyable read, I loved watching Maggie’s memories come back to her bit by bit. And the way it all came full circle at the end was nice. Overall, a book that I would definitely recommend!


 

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 432
ISBN: 0062391488 (13: 978-0062391483)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Critical Praise:

“Ballantyne’s effortless prose took me across the Atlantic and didn’t let me return until its surprising and satisfying conclusion. A tight story that comes full circle and keeps you reading.” — Bryan Reardon, author of Finding Jake

Author Bio:

authorLisa Ballantyne was born in Armadale, West Lothian, Scotland and studied English Literature at University of St Andrews.

She lived and worked in China for many years and started writing seriously while she was there. Before being published, Lisa was short-listed for the Dundee International Book Prize.

Her debut novel, The Guilty One was translated into over 25 languages, long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and short-listed for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. The Guilty One was also the Autumn 2012 Richard and Judy Book-club Winner. She lives in Glasgow.

Catch Up:
author's website author's twitter author's facebook

As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

09/14/2015 Showcase w/excerpt @ Books Chatter
09/15/2015 review @ A Fold in the Spine
09/16/2015 review @ Wall-to-wall books
09/17/2015 Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
09/18/2015 review @ 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
09/19/2015 review @ The Book Divas Reads
09/21/2015 review @ Tales of a Book Addict
09/22/2015 review @ JulzReads
09/24/2015 review @ VicsMedia Room
09/25/2015 review @ Deco My Heart
09/28/2015 review @ Kritters Ramblings
09/30/2015 review @ Booked on a Feeling
10/01/2015 review @ From the TBR Pile
10/03/2015 review @ Marys Cup of Tea
10/04/2015 shawcase @ Writers and Authors
10/07/2015 review @ Books Direct
0/08/2015 review @ Lazy Day Books
10/09/2015 review @ Book Babble
10/10/2015 review @ Rockin Book Reviews
10/11/2015 review @ Bookalicious Traveladdict
10/12/2015 review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
10/14/2015 review @ Book Club Librarian
10/15/2015 review @ Curling up by the Fire
10/16/2015 review @ b00k r3vi3ws

2015.22 REVIEW – Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys
by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Copyright: 1976
Pages: 211
Rating: 2/5
Read: July 10 – 18, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 22
Format: Print
Source: Paperbackswap
Series: N/A

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy BoysBlurb:
 There have been many words used to describe the Kennedy boys … handsome, aggressive, charismatic, charming, volatile, red-blooded, and sexy. This book investigates the latter descriptions, an in-depth probe into the more sensual aspects of the Kennedy mystique.

Here are Jack and Bob and Ted and all the girls you’ve ever heard whispered or gossiped about, a few you never heard of, and, too, those gals who somehow fell onto the front pages … Judy and Marilyn and Lee and Angie and Kim and Rita and Page and Jayne and Janet and Mary and Candy and Mariella and Rhonda and Amanda and Joan and Maria and more girls than anyone would have thought possible…


Review:This was an impulse PBS order. I don’t know what caught my eye about it but something did.

Unfortunately I ended up reading it in order to fulfill a Goodreads challenge that required me to read a book rated the lowest on my TBR. This one was the “winner” of that requirement.

And I have to admit … it’s not the greatest book. It was too gossipy for my taste. It was one of those books that just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

2014.35 REVIEW – Don’t Try To Find Me by Holly Brown

Don’t Try to Find Me
by Holly Brown

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 23-July 29, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 35
Format:  Print
Source: Publicist
Series: N/A

Don't Try to Find MeBlurb: Though the message on the kitchen whiteboard is in fourteen-year-old Marley’s handwriting, her mother, Rachel, knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

Marley’s quiet. Innocent. Sheltered. Growing up in Northern California with all the privilege Rachel never had, what does Marley know about taking care of herself? About being okay?

Rachel might not know her daughter at all. But she does know that she needs to find Marley before someone else does. Someone dangerous.

The police have limited resources devoted to runaways. If Rachel and her husband, Paul, want their daughter back, they’ll have to find her themselves. Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter and launches FindMarley.com.

But Marley isn’t the only one with something to hide. Paul’s social media campaign generates national attention, and the public scrutiny could expose Rachel’s darkest secrets. When she blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins.

The blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It’s not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it’s discovered that Rachel lied to the police, the devoted mother becomes the prime suspect in Marley’s disappearance.

Is Marley out there, somewhere, watching it all happen … or is the truth something far worse?


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via a publicist, all opinions expressed below are my own.

The description of this book immediately intrigued me and I was very glad when I was able to receive a review copy. And I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The whole idea of Marley running away with a boyfriend that she met on the internet brought back some pretty bad memories of my early teenage years. I was about 15 when I decided it would be a great idea to meet a guy I had met online in some chatroom in real life. Luckily I was smart enough to meet at a public place with a friend in tow. However, I watched from the back of the building as he pulled up in his beat-up 20-year-old car and he wasn’t exactly 16 like he had told me. I never approached him, instead I hid behind the building until he finally gave up and left. I later told him that my parents hadn’t let me go out that night and I then never spoke to him again. I learned a very important lesson that night. And I was lucky for that. There are a lot of young girls out there who aren’t that lucky.

And that’s what I think made this book so much more real to me. I think teenagers need to read this book. Anyone can be anyone they want to on the internet and I really liked how this book explored that idea.

All of that aside, I thought this was a very well-written book. I personally thought Ms. Brown portrayed Marley better than she did Rachel. Maybe it was just me not liking how weak Rachel was portrayed. But I feel as if the sections from Marley’s perspective were stronger than those of Rachel’s.

The writing was very well done. The characters were well-developed. The storyline was fresh and relevant. This book reads so fast as well, I would sit down and 50 pages later I would come up for air.

Overall, a great book that I would highly recommend.