4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, D, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: The General by Patrick A. Davis

The General
by Patrick A. Davis

Copyright: 1998
Pages: 401
Rang: 4/5
Read: Nov. 1-9, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 59

First Line: I nodded to the rigid marine sergeant stsanding by the door as I turned off the Pentagon’s Eisenhower Hallway into the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Air Force General Watkins, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been found dead – by a gruesome, torture-style execution not seen since its use by the Vietcong over twenty years ago. Assigned investigator Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Jensen discovers that this murder is only one link in a chain of hideous crimes, beginning with closely guarded secrets of the Vietnam War and extending to the highest levels of the U.S. government. With lives, careers, and history in the balance, Jensen is caught between blind allegiance to authority and a nobler, higher patriotism. His path to the truth is strewn with mines – and the answers he seeks will have shocking consequences.

Unfortunately, I did not write down my thoughts immediate after I finished this book and somehow time has slipped away from me since I finished reading. That said, I know I enjoyed this book, but I really can’t say much more about it than that. I remember there was a slow start, but once I got into it, the pages flew by. I need to remember never to let so much time go between finishing and writing the review so that I can have something of substance to say. Sorry, readers 🙂

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, M, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, Review Book

REVIEW: City in Shadow by Evan Marshall

City in Shadow
by Evan Marshall

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 182
Rang: 4/5
Read: Oct. 29-31, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 58

First Line: Anna Winthrop arranged throw pillows on the twin bed, then stepped back to admire her handiwork.

Anna Winthrop sees a scared woman leave a note outside her apartment. It reads: HELP ME. So Anna sets out to do just that. She spots her out at a restaurant with a respected doctor. Then she sees her running in Grand Central Station. But each time the woman vanishes as quickly as she appears. Then her body is found in the Hudson River. All the while, a career-making story leads investigative journalist Nettie Clouchet to a human trafficking ring. A woman acts as bait trying to find her missing sister. And Anna’s cousin, Patti, visiting from Cincinnati, searches New York’s dark streets, without saying why. All roads lead back to the Kirkmore, an apartment building where some dirty secrets are being kept, more terrifying than ever imagined.

This was a review book sent to me courtsey of Julie at FSB Associates. Overall I thought that this was a good book. It’s in the middle of a series, something that I generally do not like to do, but when this book was pitched to me it really caught my attention. Like I said, overall it’s a good book. However, it was hard to get into at first simply because there were so many storylines going on. But once I got a good grip on who was part of what storyline, it was a good book to get into. I was surprised by some of the twists and turns the story took. I was also surprised by how stupid some of the characters could be! I found this to be an enjoyable read, and would be interested in reading the others in the Anna Winthrop series. Highly recommended.

5/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Cross by James Patterson

by James Patterson

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 377
Rang: 5/5
Read: Oct. 25-29, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish That Series Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 57

First Line: “I’m pregnant, Alex.”

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, D.C. Police Department, when his wife was gunned down by an unknown assailant. He wanted revenge, but his children needed him. So he poured himself into his job. But eventually he burned out. That’s what has led him to resign from the FBI and take up practicing psychology full-time. Things are going well in his life for the first time in a long time … at least until his old partner, John Sampson, shows up with a serial rape case asking for help. When a connection to Maria’s death pops up during the investigation, Alex may finally get the chance to seek vengeance for his wife’s death. Will he finally be able to get his answers?

This is the twelfth in the Alex Cross series and I still can’t get enough of this series! Overall I enjoyed this book. I’m glad that there was some closure for Alex regarding Maria’s death. But I have to admit, I didn’t really care for the way this book began. It was kind of confusing in places. But overall, it was still great. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good, quick read.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES, Taylor Jackson

REVIEW: 14 by J.T. Ellison

by J.T. Ellison

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 402
Rang: 5/5
Read: Oct. 19-24, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 56

First Line: Would the bastard ever call?

In the mid-1980s, the Snow White Killer terrorized Nashville. As abruptly as the killing started, it ended. Now it seems like the killer has started up again – four new bodies have been found that look exactly like the Snow White Killer’s work. Or is there a copycat? Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson has the gut feeling that it’s a copycat at work. But she’s also a bit distracted trying to plan her impending wedding. Taylor knows that she won’t be able to enjoy her three week honeymoon unless this case is wrapped up. But the twists and turns that the clues will take them on will surprise everyone in the end.

This is the second in the Taylor Jackson series. You can read my review of the first book, All the Pretty Girls. This book really sucked me in from the first page and I wanted to know the truth. There were definitely some pretty shocking twists and turns that made this book just that much better. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good thriller. Plus, I have the next two books on my shelves and am definitely looking forward to getting to them soon.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, G, Nonfiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: The Fun of Dying by Roberta Grimes

The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next!
by Roberta Grimes

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 149
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 8-15, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 55

From the back of the book:

If you wonder whether death ends life, how it feels to die, or what heaven might be like, this book is for you. If you worry about a lost loved one or fret about the death of a pet, all the answers to your questions are here. And if you are afraid of death, if you worry that your life has no meaning, or if you have given up on religions, then let this book ease some of your fears while it brings new meaning to your life. Nothing written here is based on the teachings of any religion. Instead, this book draws on more than a century’s worth of evidence to explain in detail how death feels, how it happens, and – most importantly – what comes next. Accounts of near-death experiences are just a small part of the afterlife evidence. A lot of the best death-related evidence was produced in the first half of the 20th century, and it has been ignored ever since by mainstream science and mainstream religions. When it is put together with more recent discoveries, it tells a consistent and amazing story. The Fun of Dying is a complete account of how dying feels and what comes next. Read it, learn the truth, and apply its lessons so you can enjoy your best life forevermore!

I received this book courtesy of Megan Renart at Phenix & Phenix Publicists. This was a quick and easy read, while I didn’t really agree with some of the points that the author made, overall I felt as if it was an interesting read. I haven’t read a lot of books regarding this topic so it was definitely a new learning experience for me. I’m not very religious, so my thoughts in regards to what happens after death are kind of vague. I personally liked the fact that the author made it perfectly clear early on in the book that she is not an “expert” in this field, that she has a career other than studying death (an attorney). I feel like that fact made this book just that much more readable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about death and what happens afterward.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Predator by Patricia Cornwell

by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 456
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 10-14, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish that Series Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 54

First Line: It is Sunday afternoon and Dr. Kay Scarpetta is in her office at the National Forensic Academy in Hollywood, Florida, where clouds are building, promising another thunderstorm.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida when a new case comes her way. With the help of her team, Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy, they will uncover a trail of surprising clues. Two sisters have gone missing, and the clues are confusing. Someone is trying to point Kay in a particular direction regarding this case. While another killer, one safely behind bars and involved in a psychiatric study with Benton, tries to send Kay in another direction. One by one, connections will be made and all leads will point to the psychopathic mind of a jailed serial killer’s mind.

I enjoyed this book … until the ending (or lack thereof). I suppose the next book in this series will begin where this one abruptly left off. There were quite a few unanswered questions in this book. Overall, though, I thought that this book was a lot better than the past couple of books in this series, but it’s still not nearly as good as the earliest book in this series.

Challenge Wrap-Up, READING CHALLENGES 2010

Unfinished Challenge – Countdown Challenge 2010


So, I didn’t finish this challenge. I had really hoped that I would be able to get this one done, but I just couldn’t. And I’m not sure why I didn’t finish it, it’s not like I didn’t have enough books to read that would fulfill this challenge. Oh well, here’s what I did read for this challenge:

2010 (complete)

  1. The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello
  2. Burn by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy
  3. Victim Six by Gregg Olsen
  4. The 9th Judgment by James Patterson
  5. Never Let You Go by Erin Healy
  6. The Alexandria Letter by George R. Honig
  7. Damaged by Alex Kava
  8. Death on the D-List by Nancy Grace
  9. 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
  10. The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

2009 (completed)

  1. Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain
  2. Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak
  3. The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace
  4. The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson & Martin Dugard
  5. Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris
  6. Children of Dust by Ali Eteraz
  7. Decoding the Lost Symbol by Simon Cox
  8. Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy
  9. 18 Billion by Jack Gresham


  1. The Aztec Heresy by Paul Christopher
  2. Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
  3. Exposed by Alex Kava
  4. Final Breath by Kevin O’Brien
  5. The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen


  1. The Book of Names by Jill Gregory & Karen Tintori
  2. The Dying Game by Beverly Barton
  3. The Next Killing by Rebecca Drake
  4. Step on a Crack by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge


  • Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass
  • The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
  • The Black Sun by James Twining
  • The Collectors by David Baldacci
    1. 2005 (completed)

      1. Michelangelo’s Notebook by Paul Christopher
      2. The Double Eagle by James Twining
      3. No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark
      4. The Camel Club by David Baldacci
      5. The President’s Assassin by Brian Haig


      1. London Bridges by James Patterson
      2. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen

      2003 (completed)

      1. The Murder of Laci Peterson by Cliff Linedecker
      2. The Sorority: Eve by Tamara Thorne
      3. The Sorority: Merilynn by Tamara Thorne

      2002 (completed)

      1. Four Blind Mice by James Patterson
      2. The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen

      2001 (completed)

      1. The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
      4.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Jane Rizzoli, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

      REVIEW: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

      Ice Cold
      by Tess Gerritsen

      Copyright: 2010
      Pages: 322
      Rating: 4.5/5
      Read: Oct. 6-9, 2010
      Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish that Series Challenge
      Yearly Count: 53

      First Line: She was the chosen one.

      Maura Isles goes to Wyoming for a medical conference. There she meets a man that she went to college with and she makes a split second decision to go skiing with him, his daughter and two of his friends. That uncharacteristic decision will put her life at risk. Getting lost a snowstorm, they end up in a place called Kingdom Come. And Kingdom Come is not somewhere they want to be, it’s an abandoned village with some strange clues left behind. Several days later Jane Rizzoli, back in Boston, receives word that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain revine after a terrible car accident. Jane is determined to find out exactly what happened to her friend, but the investigation that she becomes involved in out in Wyoming will prove quite interesting. There are some people who will do anything in order to keep the truth about the people who used to reside in Kingdom Come, but Jane just can’t let things go.

      This is the most recent installment in the Rizzoli and Isles series and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I must say, though, that there were some spots in the book that were just unbelievable to me. And I’m very interested to see what the next book in this series will bring based on the ending of this book. I have really enjoyed catching up with this series, and I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a great read!

      4.5/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, The Camel Club

      REVIEW: The Collectors by David Baldacci

      The Collectors
      by David Baldacci

      Copyright: 2006
      Pages: 511
      Rating: 4.5/5
      Read: Sept. 20-Oct. 5, 2010
      Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; RYOB 2010
      Yearly Count: 52

      First Line: Roger Seagraves walked out of the U.S. Capitol after an interesting meeting that, surprisngly, had had little to do with politics.

      The assassination of the Speaker of the House of Representatives has rocked the nation. And the Camel Club has found a chillingly interesting connection between his death and the death of the director of the Library of Congress’s Rare Books and Special Collections Division. Oliver Stone, the Camel Club’s unofficial leader has found that someone is selling secrets to some of America’s worst enemies. When Annabelle Conroy, the greatest con artist of her generation breezes through town for the funeral of the Library of Congress’s director, her ex-husband, she intrigues Oliver Stone for many different reasons. But she will eventually join forces with the Camel Club in order to find out who is behind the murder. The Camel Club will need all the help they can get because the people that they are up against have no intentions of being caught or leaving any witnesses.

      I thoroughly enjoyed The Camel Club when I read it a few months back, and this book, the second in the series, was just as good in my opinion. I have really taken to the characters involved in the Camel Club, and I also really enjoy David Baldacci’s writing. I don’t really have any bad things to say about this book, I’m interested in continuing this series to see if we learn more about who Oliver truly is (or was, I should say). I highly recommend this series to anyone.

      4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

      REVIEW: Crimson Rain by Meg O’Brien

      Crimson Rain
      by Meg O’Brien

      Copyright: 2002
      Pages: 394
      Rating: 4/5
      Read: Sept. 26-28, 2010
      Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
      Yearly Count: 51

      First Line: Life, some say, is only an illusion – an illusion we create ourselves, in our own minds, then project onto the screen of our days.

      Paul and Gina Bradley wanted nothing more than a perfect family when they first got married. After receiving the frustrating news that they would not be able to have children of their own, they set out to adopt. Twin girls soon came their way and they thought that their lives were complete. But something was wrong with one of the twins, Angela. After a terrifying event, Paul and Gina make the difficult decision to return Angela to the orphanage for the safety of the other twin, Rachel. Sixteen years later the Bradley family is falling apart. Paul and Gina have drifted apart after what they went through with Angela. When Rachel comes home from college for Christmas break, it’s like she’s a completely different person to Paul and Gina. When Rachel disappears shortly after Christmas Paul and Gina must come together for the sake of their daughter. But the turn of events that happen in their quest to find Rachel will have some surprisingly vengeful results.

      This was an enjoyable read. Although in some places it felt a little predictable and formulaic, there were some definite surprises throughout the book. There were some typos, which is a big pet peeve of mine (if you name a character Vicky, do not call her Vicki on the very next page). The ending definitely had a surprising twist. This book was an easy and enjoyable read, but it probably isn’t one that will be very memorable in the long run.