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.

Review: Private Vegas by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Private Vegas
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Private Vegas.jpg

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 361

Read: Sept. 14-17, 2016

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Grandmother

Blurb: Seedy and glamorous, seductive and outrageous, Las Vegas attracts people of all kinds – especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to escape. It’s the perfect place for Lester Olsen’s one-of-a-kind business. He treats gorgeous young women to five-star restaurants, lavish shows, and limo rides – and then he teaches them how to kill.

Private’s Jack Morgan has been hired to hunt down two men on a gleeful murder spree. Jack thinks there could be nothing more dangerous than two criminals with an insatiable hunger for violence. But when their paths of destruction lead Jack to Vegas, he’s drawn deep into the heart of a murder ring more ruthless than anything he could have imagined, masterminded by a diabolical genius.


Review: I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for a James Patterson book. They’re fast, easy, enjoyable reads. I can usually knock one out in a few days. And for the most part, I really like them.

This one though … well, I was disappointed. Reading through the blurb as I typed it out, I realized that it’s very misleading to what is actually in this book. The actually setting is more accurately Los Angeles. The Las Vegas/Lester Olsen storyline mentioned above is maybe 50 pages total in the entire book.

The actual blurb should have read more like this: Jack Morgan’s best friend is on trial for a brutal battery against his ex-girlfriend; he faces 10 years in prison if convicted. At the same time, someone has blown up Jack’s Lamborghini as well as other expensive cars in the area. Oh and there’s some foreign diplomats assaulting women and getting away with it because of their diplomatic immunity (the two I am assuming mentioned above as being “on a gleeful murder spree.” And oh yeah – there’s a crazy guy in Las Vegas training women to kill their obscenely rich elderly husbands.

I don’t know who wrote the actual blurb on the back of the book – but they sure didn’t read the book. What’s sad is that this book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what it was billed as and to me that made it very aggravating. I was expecting Private Vegas – I got Private Los Angeles.

Review: Invisible by James Patterson & David Ellis

Invisible
by James Patterson & David Ellis

Invisible

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 385

Read: Aug. 26-Aug. 30, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 
Blurb: Everyone thinks Emma Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding a link between hundreds of unsolved cases – one of the death of her own sister – Emma has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

Not even Emma’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, believe her claim that these dozens of deaths across the country are connected. That is, until Emma finds a piece of evidence Books can’t ignore. More fatalities are reported by the day – and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapon, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?


Review:  James Patterson is always my go-to when I need a quick, easy read. And this one fits that bill perfectly. But this one is also extremely interesting! It sucked me in quickly. I really liked Emmy’s character. All she wanted was justice for her twin sister. I really admired her perseverance – even when everyone thought she was crazy.

This book has an ending that I never saw coming. It made the overall book that much more enjoyable. I really enjoy when books throw curve balls!

So overall this is another good James Patterson read. Fun, easy, enjoyable. Definitely recommended!

Review: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games
by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Private Games

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 426

Read: Aug. 16-Aug. 17, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchased used

 


Blurb
: Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Games in London. Its agents are the smartest, fastest, and most technologically advanced in the world.

Hours away from the opening ceremony, Private investigator and single father Peter Knight is called to the scene of a ruthless murder. A high-ranking member of the Games organizing committee has been killed. It’s clear to Peter that this wasn’t a crime of passion but one of precise calculation and execution.

Newspaper reporter Karen Pope receives a letter from a person who calls himself Cronus, claiming responsibility for the murder. He promises to restore the Games to their ancient glory – and to destroy all those who have ruined the Games with lies, corruption, and greed. Now Karen and Peter must work together to uncover a criminal genius who won’t stop until he completely obliterates the modern Games.


Review:  James Patterson is always a go-to for me when I need a quick, easy read. So far I have read a few of these Private books and have enjoyed them.

This one fell a little bit flat in my opinion though. It wasn’t necessarily bad by any means, I just wasn’t all that interested in it. I thought it would be interesting to pick up a book with a storyline revolving around the Olympics during the Olympics (although I literally watched none of the Olympics).

But for some reason this one just didn’t work for me. Like I said, not a bad book, but I could have skipped it and never missed anything.

3 Mini Reviews

Here’s something I’ve never done before … mini reviews.

I still have no blogging mojo. In fact, I’m typing this up quickly while my daughter screams fusses in her crib after only a 20 minute nap – momma needs more nap than that, darling!

So while I have little to no blogging mojo, I have been reading a bit. And I need to get these thoughts down before I forget everything.

So without further ado…..

Fates and Furies Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Read: Oct. 10-30, 2015
Pages: 392
Source: Book of the Month Club
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts:  This was my very first selection from the Book of the Month Club. To say that it was a disappointment would be the understatement of the year. To be completely honest, none of the October books really caught my eye, this one was just the one that seemed like it would be the most enjoyable for me. Oh how wrong I was on that! I struggled through this one. For 3 freaking weeks. I still don’t know why I bothered to finish it. I did not like it in the least. I can’t in good faith recommend this book, but hey, I’m sure someone out there would enjoy it … just not me.


Private BerlinTitle: Private Berlin
Author: James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
Read: Nov. 7-10, 2015
Pages: 448
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I knew I had to have something fast paced after coming off of Fates and Furies, so of course I picked up a James Patterson book. Overall, I enjoyed this one relatively well. I think I prefer the Private books where Jack Morgan plays more of a role, but this one was still interesting. I can almost always rely on Mr. Patterson for a quick and enjoyable read, this one does not fail on that part. Recommended for sure.

 

 


 

The Alpine Advocate Title: The Alpine Advocate
Author: Mary Daheim
Read: Nov. 11-18, 2015
Pages: 240
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: What a cute little first in a series. Cozy mysteries are not usually my cup of tea, but for some reason this one really caught my eye and was an impulse order on Paperbackswap. I think a lot of the draw for me was the journalist/newspaper aspect of the storyline – I originally declared print journalism as my major in college. Anyway, like I said this was a cute little book. It kept my interest throughout. And I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end – I had missed all of the clues laid throughout the book. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series in the future and would definitely recommend it!

 

 

 

2015.7 REVIEW – Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson

Alex Cross, Run
by James Patterson

Copyright:2013
Pages: 378
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 15 – Feb. 18, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 7
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Alex Cross #20

Alex Cross, RunBlurb: Alex Cross is on the hunt of his life … In Washington, D.C., top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his operating skills – and his wild parties of drugs, champagne, and illicit sex. When Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem’s soirees, the doctor takes the most drastic step to avoid prison. Before Alex can finish this case, a beautiful woman is murdered with a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found, hanging from a window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. After a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send the city into an all-out frenzy. But under intense pressure to solve all these grim cases, the detective doesn’t notice that someone very obsessed and twisted is stalking him – and won’t stop until Alex is dead.


Review: I used to gobble James Patterson up. Somewhere along the way he slowly fell off my radar. Probably because he churns out book after book with the aid of “co-authors” and they just aren’t as good as when he is writing them. For whatever reason, Mr. Patterson has kept the Alex Cross books all to himself. For that, his readers should thank him. Because they are by far (in my opinion of course) the best books that his name appears on.

So when I signed up a Goodreads challenge for us to read 3 books by authors we love in February, I had to go scouring my shelves for something. And as much as I am ashamed to admit it, James Patterson is where my eyes kept coming back to. So I figured I’d pick up the next Alex Cross book I had (I’m a couple behind now).

Looking back through my archives, it had been a little over 3 years since I last read an Alex Cross book. But you know what … I fell right back in with the family with no problems at all. It was like reuniting with an old friend from grade school. It was also a lot of fun.

I feel like the blurb highlighted above really leaves a lot of the book’s plot out. There’s a lot more to this book than just what’s in that simple blurb. And I found it to be a really fun, exciting read!

While these books do not require a lot of thinking, I still enjoy them. Patterson has a bad rep with a lot of people nowadays, but I am not ashamed to admit that I still like Patterson (kind of like I’ll admit to watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians).

So, yeah, I’d recommend this book. It’s a fun, fast read. And I just really like Alex Cross’s character. While you don’t have to, I would definitely recommend reading this series from the beginning, because there’s a lot of great early books in this series.

2015.1 REVIEW – Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler

Vixen 03
by Clive Cussler

Copyright: 1978
Pages: 362
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Jan. 1 – Jan. 4, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 1
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Dirk Pitt #5

Vixen 03Blurb: 1954. “Vixen 03” is down. The plane, bound for the Pacific carrying thirty-six Doomsday bombs — canisters armed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency — vanishes. Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado. 1988. Dirk Pitt, who heroically raised the “Titanic,” discovers the wreckage of “Vixen 03.” But two deadly canisters are missing. They’re in the hands of a terrorist group. Their lethal mission: to sail a battleship seventy-five miles up the Potomac and blast Washington, D.C., to kingdom come. Only Dirk can stop them.


Review: I have already declared 2015 the year that I will be reading what I want, when I want. The pressure is off. No review copies will be coming in (unless they look really good …… I have no self-control, after all). So when I went “shopping” on my shelves for the first book to start off 2015 with, this was the one that stuck out to me.

And I found it to be a really fun read. It really caught my attention from the beginning with Vixen 03 going missing and then Dirk finding it in Colorado. To be honest, I felt like the middle portion of the book was the weakest. I personally could have done without the African political storyline. It just made the book drag on in my opinion. When the story centered back on Dirk and the bombs, it picked back up again.

I would recommend it, but I have a feeling that it probably isn’t the best installment in the Dirk Pitt series. But I am definitely looking forward to catching up a bit more in this series this year …. there’s only a gazillion more books to go 🙂