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: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

And When She Was Good
by Laura Lippman

And When She Was Good

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 314

Read: Oct. 25– Oct. 29, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 

 

Blurb: In the comfortable suburb where Heloise Lewis lives, she’s just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she’s the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.

But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she’s the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.

But now, after a decade, her secret life is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it? And then she learns that her son’s father, a killer and former pimp, might be released from prison. With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.


Review: I purchased this book a fear years back now. I enjoy Ms. Lippman’s books and this one seemed a little outside of her usual scope, but it sounded really fascinating to me. And now that I’ve read it, I’m not really sure how I would classify it. Perhaps just leave it at fiction?

That being said, I enjoyed this one. I liked Helen/Heloise’s character. I thought she felt real – she could literally be any of my neighbors (ha!). I think my only complaint would be that it was a little more …. tame … than what I’m used to. I’m more used to fast paced, throw curve balls at you, thrillers. This book was not that. The layers of this one were slowly revealed, little by little. It wasn’t boring, because it definitely kept my interest throughout, but there was no big huge “ah-ha” moment at the end. It was all just wrapped up neatly. And I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to revisit Heloise later on in life, to see how things really work out for her in the long run.

But I really did like it. And I’d recommend it. And I’m going to submit it to my book club for consideration for our December meeting. So yeah, definitely give it a chance if you have the opportunity!

Review: L.A. Dead by Stuart Woods

L.A. Dead
by Stuart Woods

L.A. Dead

Copyright: 2000

Pages: 406

Read: Oct. 13 – Oct. 16, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 
Blurb: Trouble finds stone smack in the middle of a romantic Mediterranean holiday. His trip to Venice – with the fiery Mafia princess Dolce – is cut short by a frantic phone call from half a world away. A celebrity murder has Los Angeles in an uproar and mysteriously threatens a former flame, Arrington Calder. And once he arrives there, amid Hollywood’s sun and sin, he must plumb the depths of film society to find the killer – before a court trial rips away his last chance at a life he once desperately wanted…


Review: This is the 6th in the Stone Barrington series. And as usual, it was a quick, easy read. These are pretty mindless. Yet relatively interesting. Stuart Woods is quickly becoming another go-to author for me when I need something fast. I still can’t believe some of the trouble Stone finds himself in when it comes to women. It’s just like one big soap opera. But it’s also something that I look forward to finding out more as I continue on with this series.

So while these aren’t going to win any great literary awards, if you’re looking for something fun and quick to sate your appetite for a murder mystery, these will probably fit the bill. I’d for sure recommend this series and this book.

Review: The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

The Candidate
by Lis Wiehl

the-candidate

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 328

Read: Oct. 1 – Oct. 5, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Review copy from publicist.
Blurb: Mike Ortiz is a dynamic war hero favored to win the White House. Standing by his side is his glamorous and adoring wife, Celeste. But something about this seemingly perfect couple troubles Erica. Is Celeste really who she seems? And most importantly, what really happened in that squalid Al-Qaeda prison where Mike Ortiz spent nine months?

But more than the nation’s future is at stake. Erica’s relentless search for the truth puts the life of her preteen daughter Jenny in danger, even as Erica’s own dark past threatens to overtake her.

In her latest Newsmakers thriller, New York Times bestselling author and Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl weaves a taut and chilling story. The Candidate is packed with political intrigue and media manipulation as the lust for power turns deadly indeed.


Review: What a book! I knew going into this one that it was the second in a series and I hadn’t read the first one (something I’m sometimes reluctant to do), but I also felt like it would be interesting to read something dealing with a Presidential election alongside our own Presidential race. And what a great decision I made by accepting this one for review!

This book grabbed me from the beginning and kept my attention throughout the book. I know at one point Erica goes to Baghdad to see what Mike Ortiz really went through firsthand. Can I just say that I read those few chapters practically holding my breath the entire time? I didn’t know if something terrible would happen to Erica in such a dangerous location and I couldn’t get through those scenes fast enough. I wanted Erica to be back on safe ground (which is a big fat HA! if you read the rest of the book…). Anyway, those few scenes in Baghdad are very suspenseful and I still shiver a little bit thinking about them.

I really liked Erica’s character. There were some times that I wanted to shake her because she ignored some pretty obvious things that a reporter (or anyone for that matter) should have been more inquisitive about. But at the same time I understand that she was just trying to keep an open mind. I liked that she was portrayed as a woman juggling career and parenthood. This is such a real thing for so many women (myself somewhat included – I don’t have a big time career, but I do work outside the home and it’s very tough at times) and it was good to see it on the page in the way it was portrayed.

I was a little bummed that I hadn’t read the first book in this series, because the first book is mentioned multiple times and it was tough to not know what had happened in that first book – although we got enough background to not be completely lost – it still left me curious. But I can say overall that while it didn’t really affect this book too much, it would have been nice to have a little more background on Erica and who she is.

So overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read with a plot line that is very plausible and believable.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

Review: Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

Daddy’s Gone a Hunting
by Mary Higgins Clark

 

Daddy's Gone a Hunting
Copyright: 2013

Pages: 385

Read: Sept. 25-28, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased new

 
Blurb: What was Kate Connelly – a tall, glamorous CPA – doing in her family’s antique furniture museum when it exploded into flames in the middle of the night? Why was Gus, a disgruntled retired employee, with her? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in a coma, cable to explain the tragedy’s mysterious link to a decades-old missing person case. Nor to warn her sister what could happen next. In this dazzling and suspenseful mystery, Mary Higgins Clark presents readers with a fascinating cast of characters – one of whom may just be a ruthless killer…


Review: I picked this one up knowing that when I bought it a couple of years ago I had actually set it aside after not immediately being drawn in. But I usually love Mary Higgins Clark and decided it was time to give it another shot. I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a very good book.

However, it’s not perfect. There are numerous grammatical errors throughout the book – sometimes entire words are completely missing! I found that somewhat disappointing. I also had the ending pegged with about 150 pages to go – so I would say that it was somewhat predictable as well.

So while probably not the best Mary Higgins Clark novel out there, I still enjoyed it. Ms. Clark is definitely the queen of mystery! Her books are just good, enjoyable reads. Definitely recommended.

Review: Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kiss cut
by Karin Slaughter

 

Kisscut.jpgCopyright: 2002

Pages: 420

Read: Sept. 17-23, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Bought at used book store

 


Blurb
: Sara Linton, pediatrician and medical examiner in Heartsdale, Georgia, knows only too well the horrors that can hide behind closed doors in a small community. But when a Saturday night argument between teenagers at the local skating rink leads to death – and a subsequent autopsy reveals evidence of ritualistic self-mutilation and long-teem abuse – she realizes that true evil is closer than she imagined. Aided by her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and Detective Lena Adams, still traumatized by her brush with a maniac, Sara’s investigation is frustrated at every turn by the cold silence of the family and friends of the slain girl. But the truth cannot be hidden forever, as Sara inexorably peels back the many layers of an inhuman outrage that goes far beyond mere murder. For an ominous cloud has settled over the young daughters and sons of Heartsdale – and those who would protect them must act quickly before all innocence here is devoured.


Review: So I picked this one up at my last trip to the used book store and I was glad to have found it. I had been wanting to dive back into Sara Linton’s world – since I last read the first book, Blindsighted, way back in 2013 – oops!

This book is gruesome. It’s difficult to read. The subject it deals with is excruciatingly painful to read – especially as a mother. And interestingly enough, I wasn’t turned off by that. I probably should have been, and I have to admit, I was more than a little shocked in some spots throughout the book, but really I enjoyed this one. Karin Slaughter, while I’ve only read a few of her books, is starting to become a real favorite of mine!

I really like Sara’s character. And I can’t wait to see what happens between her and Jeffrey. The one character in this installment that irritated me to no end was Lena. I get that she went through a lot in the first book, but honestly – she really needs to learn to cope with what she went through. She needs help, badly. I can only hope that she finds herself the help she needs, or else I’m going to go crazy every time I read her name on the page.

So yeah, if you can deal with a really touchy and difficult subject matter, I’d definitely recommend this book to you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to get to read the third in the series! (hopefully it won’t be 3 years before I pick that one up…)

Review: Worst Fears Realized by Stuart Woods

Worst Fears Realized
by Stuart Woods

Worst Fears Realized

Copyright: 1999

Pages: 402

Read: Sept. 5-8, 2016

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

Blurb: Not a man to dwell on the past, Stone Barrington has no choice but to rattle old skeletons when the people closest to him start dying, and he has little to go on but the suspicion that the killer may be someone he once knew. The trip down memory lane isn’t all bad though, for it reunites Stone with his ex-partner, Dino Bacchetti – now head of detectives in the nineteenth precinct.

Trying to find a brilliant killer in a sea of old faces is difficult enough without Stone’s former love, Arrington, now Mrs. Vance Calder, resurfacing, too – especially when she sets off her own fireworks coming nose to nose with his latest flame, a Mafia princess as beautiful as she is dangerous.

Caught on a thrill ride of a case that tests him as non has ever done before, Stone races to find a twisted madman with a taste for blood vengeance, with only a prayer to find him before Stone’s worst fears are realized.


Review:  This is the 5th book in the Stone Barrington series (only a million more to go, ha!) and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it to be fast paced, exciting and enjoyable. It was interesting to see Stone work the case, always seemingly behind the eight ball, so to speak. It was a really good book.

My one and only complaint with Stone’s character has always been his womanizing. And I will say, it was toned down a little bit in this installment. But it still bothers me that we’re 5 books into this series and he’s slept with more women than I can count. But that’s just a personal pet peeve…

So yeah, overall, a good installment in a series that I am enjoying so far. I look forward to reading this next one.