Review: The Target by Catherine Coulter

The Target
by Catherine Coulter

The Target

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 381

Read: June 25 – 28, 2017

Rating: 2/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Escaping unwanted media attention after a notorious incident, Ramsey Hunt retreats into the solitude of a cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. But his isolation is shattered when he rescues a small girl unconscious in the forest and strangers invade his private meadow, their intent to kill.

Molly Santera, the little girl’s mother, catches up with Ramsey and her daughter, mistaking him for the kidnapper. When she discovers that he instead saved Emma, there’s little time for thanks. The men pursuing want them badly.

Savich and Sherlock as well as MAX, the transvestite laptop, return to assist. Ramsey and Molly, facing constant danger, unravel the clues and ultimately discover why they’re at the center of the target.


Review: Ok, so I read the first two books in this series, The Cove and The Maze way back in 2009. And looking back on those reviews, I actually enjoyed those two books. So I’m not exactly sure why I never picked up the third book until 2017… Unfortunately, this book was a little more than disappointing for me.

First of all, the entire storyline was way too farfetched for my liking. I mean, come on … a federal judge is going to come across an unconscious little girl in the woods and not go straight to the authorities with her? His whole line of thinking was ridiculous. And Emma’s character (the little girl), I’m sorry but Ms. Coulter did not write a believable child’s character with her. Having two young children myself, there’s no way that either of my kids would ever act like she did with Ramsey. I don’t care what kind of trauma they had been through – it just would never happen. And let’s not even talk about how stupid Molly was. I mean, all three of them were idiotic and completely unbelievable in my book.

And then there was the writing style itself. It didn’t flow very smoothly in my opinion. Half the time I couldn’t even make out who was talking. And then it was switch tenses right in the middle of a paragraph! It was absolutely ridiculous! It was just not good writing in my opinion.

So yeah. …. I don’t know about reading any more from this series. I have the fourth book on my shelf, but after the fiasco this book was I’m definitely not rushing right to it. I can’t really recommend this book to anyone, honestly. It just didn’t work for me. I just didn’t care for it.

Review: A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

A Cold Day for Murder
by Dana Stabenow

A Cold Day for Murder

Copyright: 1992

Pages: 199

Read: Nov. 7 – Nov. 11, 2016

Rating: 2/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: She’s a savvy investigator with the cool toughness of Sam Spade – and a smile that could melt a block of ice. Once the star of the Anchorage D.A.’s office, she’s gone back to her roots in the far Alaska north. But Kate’s taken her talent for detection along … and trouble knows where to find her. 

When a young National Park Ranger disappears during the long Alaskan winter, everyone assumes the cold got him. But when an investigator goes in after him, and never comes out, the weather may not be all that’s killing. Or so thinks Kate Shugak. With her Husky-breed Mutt as an ally, she’s hunting for answers among the pipelines, Aleuts, and hardy eccentrics of the rugged American north. But she’s heading for thin ice between lies and loyalties … between justice served and the cold face of murder.


Review: I picked this one up because it sounded like a good series that I could start (because you know how much I need another series…..). Unfortunately, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement…

At 199 pages, an author doesn’t have much time for character development and an awesome plot line. For this particular book the character development was A+++ and the plot line …. stunk. I mean, the idea was there. It was just the execution that didn’t work for me. And I really felt it was because entirely too much time was spent on the characters and then all of a sudden it was time to wrap it all up and send it off to the publisher. It was that abrupt at the end.

I really wish I could say that I liked this one, but I didn’t. Perhaps the later books in the series are better … but I doubt I ever get to another book in this series.

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane

Copyright: 2013

Pages: 178

Read: Sept. 10-13, 2016

Rating: 2/5

Source: Purchased at library book sale

Blurb: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie – magical, comforting, wise beyond her years – promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.


Review: I picked this one up a couple of years ago at the library book sale. I had heard a lot of good things about Neil Gaiman and was curious. I picked this one up now because I needed something quick to read, and at 178 pages I figured this one would fit that bill perfectly.

And it was a quick, easy read. I just didn’t care for the overall storyline. I am not a huge fan of fantasy as a general rule, so I think that affected my overall feelings on this one. It just didn’t work for me personally, but Mr. Gaiman is definitely a gifted storyteller.

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.

2015.16 REVIEW – Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes
by Stephen King

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 436
Rating: 2/5
Read: April 29 – May 21, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 16
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Series: Bill Hodges #1

Mr. MercedesBlurb: The stolen Mercedes emerges from the pre-dawn fog and plows through a crowd of men and women in line for a job fair in a distressed American city. Then the lone driver backs up, charges again, and speeds off, leaving eight dead and more wounded. The case goes unsolved and ex-cop Bill Hodges is out of hope when he gets a letter from the man who loved the feel of death under the Mercedes’s wheels…Brady Hartsfield wants that rush again, but this time he’s going big, with an attack that would take down thousands – unless Hodges and two new, unusual allies he picks up along the way can throw a wrench in Hartsfield’s diabolical plans.


Review: I borrowed this book from a co-worker. I remember when it came out it sounded interesting, but I’ll be completely honest here … it’s been a really long time since I have enjoyed a Stephen King book.

Unfortunately, this book really didn’t prove to be an exception in my recent dislike for Mr. King’s latest works. For me, it was just an “okay” and “eh” read.

It probably didn’t help that I started this book in the very last of my pregnancy (when pregnancy brain was in full force) and then finally finished it with a newborn in the house (and sleep deprivation in full force).

I think my issue is that this felt like such a departure from the Stephen King works I have liked in the past. I mean, how can you beat Carrie or It? The short answer is … you can’t. But this book really felt like he was dipping his feet into a completely different genre. And it simply didn’t work for me.

You want my complete honest opinion … had he cut about 100 pages out of this book, it probably would have been a lot better. There just seemed a lot of unnecessary things going on. Obviously Mr. King has routinely produced very long works, but this storyline didn’t need 436 pages to tell the full story. It could have been done in 336 pages. Very easily.

Overall, just an okay book. I can’t say that I would necessarily recommend it. But I finished it, so it obviously wasn’t horrible either.

2015.5 REVIEW – Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Port Mortuary
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright:2010
Pages: 494
Rating: 2/5
Read: Jan. 25 – Feb. 4, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 5
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Kay Scarpetta #18

port mortuaryBlurb: More than twenty years and many successes since the start of Kay Scarpetta’s career, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base and Port Mortuary, where she’s performing autopsies on fallen soldiers. But her new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts – the Cambridge Forensic Center – is the first civilian facility in the U.S. to do virtual autopsies, and it is there that she encounters a devastating event.

A young man has died, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta’s new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked inside the Center’s cooler. Carious 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen – details that suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. With Benton, Marino, and Lucy at her side, Scarpetta must fight a cunning, cruel – and invisible – enemy, as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die…


Review: I think I keep hoping that Patricia Cornwell will magically return to her glory days of years past and write an awesome Kay Scarpetta book. And I keep getting massively disappointed. I didn’t like this one. Not much at all, to be honest. To the point where I’m not sure why I even read it in its entirety.

But I read it all. And I am so confused it’s not even funny. First, we learn that Dr. Scarpetta is actually Colonel Scarpetta. What? Apparently she spent time in the military straight out of school to help pay off her debt. She owed them 6 years … she only made it 6 months before something happened and they kicked her out. I actually went on Goodreads to read other reviews of this book after I finished to see if this was mentioned by any other reviewers. Apparently this little background tidbit is not something that I have just forgotten about over the years. It really is something that was never introduced until Book 18 in the series. Ok. Why? If what happened to Kay in South Africa is still bothering her all these years later, why are we the readers just now learning about it? Give me a break.

I’m not going to spend much time going into the particulars of this book. Let me just tell you that all I came away with is that Kay Scarpetta did nothing but whine and moan about the state of affairs at the Center that she is supposedly the head of. When she finds out that Jack Fielding has let the place go to hell, instead of taking the bull by the horn (like she would have done 17 books ago) and fixing the problem, she just whined to her obnoxiously unhelpful husband about poor pitiful Kay. There were murders that needed solving, and instead of focusing on them, we had to endure Kay’s pity party. Ugh.

So yeah. I didn’t like this book. I don’t recommend it. You want a good Patricia Cornwell book …. read one of the first 10 in the series. Then walk away … which is what I should have done, and what I’m doing now.

2014.32 REVIEW – The Three by Sarah Lotz

The Three
by Sarah Lotz

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 395
Rating: 2/5
Read: July 5-July 15, 2014
Challenge: What’s in a Name
Yearly count: 32
Format:  E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Series: N/A

The ThreeBlurb: Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioral problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…


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

I originally saw this book mentioned in a Shelf Awareness email. It sounded really good and I was excited when I got the notification saying that I had been approved for a copy on NetGalley. Then I do like I seem to do with every single e-book I get … I let it sit. And sit. And sit some more. I decided it was time to clear this book off my review list and loaded it up onto my Nook and took off with it.

Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m just confused. First of all this book is billed as “horror.” To me there’s not a lick of horror in this book. I can’t even bring myself to call it creepy in any way, shape or form. I think horror fans are going to be sorely disappointed by this book.

The premise behind the book sounds really interesting. But the execution was just lacking in my opinion. I was okay with the book within a book format, but then it took a really strange turn at the end that I didn’t understand. The ending was so ambiguous and I did not like that at all.

Obviously the book wasn’t horrendous, because I finished it. But it just didn’t work for me.