AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, O, Read in 2008

A Wicked Snow by Gregg Olsen

A Wicked Snow
by Gregg Olsen

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 369
Rating: 5/5
Read: Dec. 26-30, 2008
Challenge: 2008 2nds Challenge; Countdown Challenge

First Line: The girl remembered the snow and the evil that had come with it.

When Hannah Griffin was a girl a terribly tragedy struck her family. She still remembers the flames of the fire that engulfed her house as well as the twenty bodies that the police found, three in the house and the rest buried in the back yard. The three in the house were that of her mother and two brothers. But the killer was never found and it remained one of the worst unsolved cases. Twenty years later Hannah is now a successful CSI with a loving husband and daughter. She still has difficulty dealing with her past, but things get ripped wide open when she opens a box that was delivered to her office that reads “Your Mom called…” With those three words, Hannah’s world is turned upside down.

I really enjoyed this book. This is the second Gregg Olsen book that I’ve read this year, the first being “A Cold Dark Place” which I also enjoyed a great deal. I’m definitely glad that I had this one on my shelf because it was a great way to end my 2008 reading! I highly recommend this book (as well as “A Cold Dark Place“) to anyone who is looking for a great mystery!

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AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Read in 2008, READING CHALLENGES 2008

By Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin

By Order of the President
by W.E.B. Griffin

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 608
Rating: 3/5
Read: Dec. 14-26, 2008
Challenge: Celebrate the Author

First Line: As he climbed the somewhat unsteady roll-up stairs and ducked his head to get through the door of Lease-Aire LA-9021 – a Boeing 727 – Captain Alex MacIlhenny, who was fifty-two, ruddy-faced, had a full head of just starting to gray red hair, and was getting just a little jowly, had sort of a premonition that something was wrong – or that something bad was about to happen – but he wasn’t prepared for the dark-skinned man standing inside the fuselage against the far wall.

When a Boeing 727 is hijacked from Angola and is flown to an unknown location, the various security agencies of the United States race against the clock to find out where this plane has been taken to and what the hijacker’s intentions are. Unfortunately, those same agencies end up in a power struggle to find the plane first. The President gets fed up with all the in-fighting and asks an outsider, Major Carlos G. Castillo, a West Point graduate and a pilot to get to the truth of the missing airplane. But what Castillo finds out in the end is not only surprising but terrifying, and Castillo must move very, very fast in order to wrap things up before it’s too late.

Military-esque books are very much out of my comfort zone, which is why it took me so long to read this book. However, I did really enjoy this one quite a bit, which would be why I hung in there to finish reading it. I would have given it a higher rating, but I thought that the ending could have been a lot better than it was. It was all a little too neat for my personal tastes. But this is the first in a series which I am definitely going to want to keep an eye on in the future.

AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Read in 2008

I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark

I Heard That Song Before
by Mary Higgins Clark

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 384
Rating: 5/5
Read: Dec. 6-14, 2008
Challenge: Celebrate the Author

First Line: My father was the landscaper for the Carrington estate.

When Kay Lansing was six years old she snuck into the Carrington estate and overheard a heated argument between a man and a woman. That same evening, Susan Althorp drove home with Peter Carrington. She was never seen again. Now, 22 years later, Kay Lansing finds herself in the Carrington estate once more, asking Peter for the use of his home as a site for a charity event. The whirlwind courtship and marriage that follows shocks everyone. However, when they return from their honeymoon, Peter is arrested for the murder of Susan. But Kay is convinced that her husband could never ever commit murder. However, once she sees him sleepwalking she begins to wonder if he could have possibly done something while he was asleep. Eventually Kay realizes that in order to find Susan’s real killer she must figure out who that man and woman arguing so many years ago was.

I enjoyed this book. It took me longer than it should have to read it because life and work got into the way, but I still really really enjoyed reading this one!! I just love Mary Higgins Clark and this book is another great read in my opinion! Check it out if you get the chance!

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, Read in 2008

The Falls by Karen Harper

The Falls
by Karen Harper

Copyright: 2003
Pages: 394
Rating: 4/5
Read: Dec. 1-6, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: Though Claire Malvern was a sound sleeper, something woke her.

The Falls are what first drew Claire and Keith Malvern away from their fast paced lives in Seattle. But it will also be the Falls that ends their dream of a bed and breakfast when Keith’s body is found in the river, his death ruled a suicide supposedly from having jumped off the bridge by the Falls. But Claire knows her husband would never take his own life. But it will take all she has in order to convince the local sheriff Nick Braden that foul play has to be involved. But what they eventually discover about Keith’s death will shock them both.

This book had quite a slow start. But once I was able to get well into the book I really ended up enjoying it. My only complaint is that this book read like a lot of other books that I have read in this romantic suspense genre – the husband dies mysteriously and then the widow falls for the man who helps her in the aftermath. It all seemed sort of formulaic, however that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book because I did, it’s just a feeling that I get from books of this sort in general.

Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, Read in 2008, SERIES

Kiss the Girls by James Patterson

Kiss the Girls
by James Patterson

Copyright: 1995
Pages: 458
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 28-30, 2008
Challenge: Book-to-Movie Challenge

First Line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.

Alex Cross’s niece, a law student at Duke, has gone missing. Cross is immediately drawn to the area in order to find his niece. But what he encounters is that there are more than one young woman missing and that this case might even be connected to another case that is going on in Los Angeles. Is there one killer who is traveling across country or are there two and if there are, are they communicating?! It’s a twisted case that Alex will finally work out in the end.

This book was much better than the first one in the Alex Cross series, Along Came a Spider. I felt a little rushed to read it in order to finish it before the challenge was over. But I really did enjoy it quite a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to getting the 3rd and 4th books in this series in my mailbox in the next few days 🙂

AUTHOR, Book Review, Eve Duncan, Fiction, J, Read in 2008, SERIES

Quicksand by Iris Johansen

Quicksand
by Iris Johansen

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 361
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Nov. 23-28, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: Someone was watching him.

Eve Duncan is still searching for Bonnie, her little girl. Her search takes her to a man named Kistle. Kistle will lure Eve into a swamp with Joe. But in the end, it will be just another sick play that Kistle will make.

I’m getting kind of sick of the Eve Duncan series. I’m sorry, but how long is she going to drag on the search for Bonnie? I understand that the series is selling and that once she finds Bonnie the series will more than likely end, but come on, it’s the same stuff every time it seems like.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Nonfiction, R, Read in 2008

Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule

Dead by Sunset
by Ann Rule

Copyright: 1995
Pages: 528
Rating: 2/5
Read: Nov. 20-23, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight – True Crime Category; Celebrate the Author

First Line: September 21, 1986, was a warm and beautiful Sunday in Portland – in the whole state of Oregon, for that matter.

Attorney Cheryl Keeton’s body was found in her van on an Oregon freeway. Her husband, Brad Cunningham, was the prime suspect. Unfortunately, there was no evidence linking him. He married again, to Sara, a physician. She adopted his three sons and they settled to have a fairytale life together. Unfortunately, things start to go wrong and everything becomes a nightmare…

I was not really impressed by this book. I usually like Ann Rule’s books, but this one seemed to drag a little bit. Maybe it was because I didn’t know anything about this case before picking the book up. I’m not sure, this one just didn’t appeal to me very much.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, N, Read in 2008

Trust Me by Brenda Novak

Trust Me
by Brenda Novak

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 435
Rating: 4/5
Read: Nov. 15-20, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: You already heard, right?

Four years ago Skye Kellerman was attacked in her own bed. She saved her own life by fighting back with a knife. Her attacker, Dr. Oliver Burke, would be caught and sent to prison, but her life was already changed. But when she learns that he is being released from prison, she doesn’t know what to do. The detective that was on Skye’s case has to do everything he can in order to keep Burke behind bars. Unfortunately, Burke gets out … and he is determined to finish what he started…..

I enjoyed this book quite a bit! It took me forever to read though, and it should have been a quick and easy read, but life kind of got in the way 🙂 Anyways, I really liked this book, and I’m definitely looking forward to finding the next book in this series, Stop Me, and finding out more about Skye and her two friends.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, L, Read in 2008

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River
by Dennis Lehane

Copyright: 2001
Pages: 448
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Nov. 10-14, 2008
Challenge: Books Awards II, Book to Movie, Triple Eight – From my TBR Shelf

First Line: When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm choclate back home with them.

When Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus and Dave Boyle were children, something happened that would forever change their lives. A car pulled up to them while they were out playing, one boy got into the car and the other two didn’t. That would end up changing their friendship and themselves forever. Years later, their lives would be tied together again by murder.

I wasn’t really impressed by this book like I thought I would be. I enjoyed it, but just not as much as I thought I would. I also never saw this movie, I don’t know why I missed it, but I hope to see it in the near future.

AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, F, Fiction, Read in 2008

In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods
by Tana French

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 429
Rating: 3/5
Read: Nov. 3-9, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.

When Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl who is an up-and-coming dancer, is found murdered at a local archaeological dig, Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox get the case. But what they find is harrowing at best. There are strange similarities between this case and a 20 year old case involving the disappearance of two young children from the same neighborhood. But what really makes this case difficult, is that for Ryan, those two kids from the previous case, were his best friends. It will take a lot out of these two Detectives to piece this case together and find the killer, and it will fracture their friendship and working relationship before Rob is technically forced off the case because of his connection. But when they finally figure the case out, it will be a shocker.

I wanted SO MUCH to love this book. But in the end, I just didn’t. I was disappointed. I tend to not like a lot of fluffy and pretty words, and I felt like this book had a lot of them. Just give me the story – I don’t want any long flowing descriptions that are pointless in the end. And I felt like this book had that problem. And the ending, oh my goodness … it was such a disappointment, it really and truly was! Maybe that’s because there really was no ending. I just wasn’t impressed by this book.