2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, L, Michael Bennett, P, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Burn by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Burn
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Burn

 

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 385

Read: Aug 28 – 31, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

Blurb: At last, Detective Michael Bennett and his family are coming home to New York City. Thanks to Bennett, the ruthless crime lord whose vengeful mission forced the Bennett family into hiding has been brought down for good.

Back in the city that never sleeps, Bennett takes over a chaotic Outreach Squad in Harlem, where he receives an unusual call: a man claims to have seen a group of well-dressed men holding a bizarre party in a condemned building. With no clear crime or evidence, Bennett dismisses the report. But when a charred body is found in that very same building, the detective is forced to take the demented caller seriously – and becomes drawn into an underground criminal world of terrifying depravity.


Review: I can always rely on Mr. Patterson for a fun and easy read. It had been quite some time since I had visited with Michael Bennett and his family, so I was looking forward to jumping back in with the Bennett’s.

Overall, this was a good book. I really enjoyed Bennett’s new squad, they added some good new characters for the series. I seriously hope that he continues with that new squad and we get to see more of them in future books.

This particular installment had some interesting storylines, with the diamond heists as well as cannibalism. Very strange, but for whatever reason, it made for interesting reading.

My one and only complaint was the ending … or lack, thereof. It was frustrating the way it ended. I was looking for a few more answers and a nice little wrap up in the epilogue, but that never happened. It just ended. It almost felt as if something was left out. It was a little disappointing.

But overall, the book was enjoyable and definitely left me wanting more of the Bennett family and looking forward to reading on in this series.

Advertisements
2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Never Never by James Patterson

Never Never
by James Patterson & Candice Fox

Never Never

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 316

Read: April 27 – May 2, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: Meet Detective Harriet Blue of the Sydney Police Department.

Harry is her department’s top Sex Crimes investigator. But she never thought she’d see her own brother arrested for the grisly murders of three beautiful young women. Shocked and in denial, Harry transfers to a makeshift town in a desolate area to avoid the media circus. Looking into a seemingly simple missing persons case, Harry is assigned a new “partner.” But is he actually meant to be a watchdog?

Far from the world she knows and desperate to clear her brother’s name, Harry has to mine the dark secrets of her strange new home for answers to a deepening mystery – before she vanishes in a place where no one would ever think to look for her.


Review: This is the first in a new(ish) series from Mr. Patterson. It sounded good and I’m a sucker for series books, so I was excited to give it a go.

Unfortunately it fell flat for me. I’m not entirely sure if it was the storyline …. I didn’t like the setting … or if it was the fact that I pegged the killer entirely too early. It just didn’t work for me to be honest.

As I stated this is the first in a series. Part of me wants to read the second book just to see if we get any closure to Harry’s brother’s case … the other part of me doesn’t want to waste my time. So the verdict is still out on that. It’s not often that I’m this disappointed by a Patterson book, but this one was not up to par to some of his others.

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, M, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

Art in the Blood
by Bonnie MacBird

Art in the Blood

Copyright: 2015

Pages: 336

Read: March 24-29, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Barnes & Noble Serial Reads

 

 

Blurb: London. A snowy December, 1888. Sherlock Holmes, 34, is languishing and back on cocaine after a disastrous Ripper investigation. Watson can neither comfort nor rouse his friend – until a strangely encoded letter arrives from Paris.

Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her young son has vanished, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre.

Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man, an art collector seemingly beyond reach of the law.

Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft.

This latest adventure, in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, sends the iconic duo from London to Paris and the icy wilds of Lancashire in a case which tests Watson’s friendship and the fragility and gifts of Sherlock Holmes’ own artistic nature to the limits.

 


Review: This was Barnes & Noble’s March selection on their Serial Reads program. I was really unsure about reading this one. While I do enjoy mysteries, Sherlock Holmes has never really been a huge draw for me. I posted the introduction to this book here, and based on the comments it was split whether or not my visitors would continue reading the book based on the intro. To be honest, the first few pages didn’t really immediately draw me in either, but I eventually got interested enough in the book to continue on.

Overall, this wasn’t necessarily a bad book. It just wasn’t really a home run for me either. It fell somewhere in the “eh” category. It felt a little convoluted and I didn’t like how the storyline kept switching from the missing boy to the art theft and back to the missing boy, constantly… I think it was a little too much. I wanted Holmes to concentrate on one or the other cases.

I’m not entirely sold that this book was really written in the Sherlock Holmes “way.”  It didn’t feel entirely authentic. Not that I’m an expert in Sherlock Holmes, but I just felt like something was missing from his character. It didn’t feel like an authentic Sherlock Holmes character in this book.

To be honest, this book didn’t do much for me in the end. It was a decent enough read for   a freebie. However, I don’t really feel the need to read the second book in this series. I’m not even entirely sure I would recommend this book. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to hard-core Sherlock Holmes fans … but I suppose the casual mystery lover may find something in this that I simply didn’t.

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Author Debut, Book Review, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Mallory’s Oracle by Carol O’Connell

Mallory’s Oracle
by Carol O’Connell

Mallory's Oracle

Copyright: 1994

Pages: 310

Read: March 14-18, 2018

Rating: 2.5/5

Source: Purchased at Used Book Store

 
Blurb: Jonathan Kellerman says Mallory’s Oracle is “a joy.” Nelson DeMille and other advance readers have called it “truly amazing, ” “a classic” with “immense appeal.” It is all of that, and more: a stunning debut novel about a web of unsolved murders in New York’s Gramercy Park and the singular woman who makes them her obsession.

At its center is Kathleen Mallory, an extraordinary wild child turned New York City policewoman. Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, she is still not altogether civilized now that she is a sergeant in the Special Crimes section. With her ferocious intelligence and green gunslinger eyes, Mallory (never Kathleen, never Kathy) operates by her own inner compass of right and wrong, a sense of justice that drives her in unpredictable ways. She is a thing apart.

And today, she is a thing possessed. Although more at home in the company of computers than in the company of men, Mallory is propelled onto the street when the body of her adoptive father, Louis Markowitz, is found stabbed in a tenement next to the body of a wealthy Gramercy Park woman. The murders are clearly linked to two other Gramercy Park homicides Markowitz had been investigating, and now his cases become Mallory’s, his death her cause. Prowling the streets, sifting through his clues, drawing on his circle of friends and colleagues, she plunges into a netherworld of light and shadow, where people are not what they seem and truth shifts without warning. And a murderer waits who is every bit as wild and unpredictable as she….

Filled with deep, seductive atmosphere and razor-sharp prose, Mallory’s Oracle is gripping, resonant suspense of tantalizing complexity—a genuinely unforgettable novel.


Review: Okay so this is the first book in the Kathleen Mallory series. I had actually acquired this book a long time ago and at some point took it off my Goodreads TBR (I’m assuming it was going to be part of a purge) but for whatever reason, I put it back on my shelf to keep. I should have let it go in that purge…

This book was really strange. I had a very hard time connecting to any of the characters. I actually re-read the first few pages in the beginning because I felt like I had missed something. I hadn’t. It just didn’t draw me in. Because of that lack of early disinterest, I know for a fact I missed a lot going forward. At the very end when it was all revealed, I had no idea how on earth the killer ended up being the killer. It just didn’t make sense to me at all. There was a lot of unnecessary things along the way in my opinion. An entire storyline regarding mediums and seances? Had absolutely nothing to do with the serial killings being investigated. What was the point?!

I didn’t care for it. I won’t be reading further in this series. I didn’t like the characters. Mallory is cold, way too cold for my taste. I never could figure out why Charles “inherited” her…. yeah, this book just didn’t work for me very well.

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2016

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.

2.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, L, NetGalley, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, Review Book

2014.43 REVIEW – I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers
by Barry Lyga

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 282
Rating: 2.5/5
Read: Sept. 7 – 14, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 43
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Series: Jasper Dent #1

I Hunt KillersBlurb: What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?
Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could–from the criminal’s point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?


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

I first saw this book in a NetGalley email. I don’t read a ton of young adult, but something about this book really caught my attention. I requested it and was excited to see that I had been approved for it.

Overall, I am a little disappointed in this book. It started out pretty interesting. But then somewhere along the way I really started disliking Jazz’s character and it all kind of went downhill from there. I was just so tired of his attitude. I get that he’s a teenager and he’s angsty. I get that his circumstances suck. But I could hardly stand the “oh, I think I am a serial killer because my dad is one” attitude that he kept taking. Deep down I want to believe he’s a good kid. But he seems to think otherwise. And it was a contradiction that just didn’t work out for me.

I actually got to about 70% done and was seriously considering giving up on the book. But at that point you get so far in and you don’t really want to quit. So I persevered on and finished it. I didn’t gain or lose anything from reading this book, and I think that’s why I had such a problem with it. It wasn’t horrible, yet it wasn’t very good. It was just so-so. But the potential. Oh the potential was so there. The whole idea of what happens when you’re the kid of America’s most infamous serial killer … that really was interesting. But the execution just didn’t work for me. And that’s really disappointing to me.

Maybe I didn’t “get” this book because I’m not a huge YA reader. I don’t know. But it didn’t really work for me.