4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES, Stone Barrington, U-V-W

Review: Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods

Dark Harbor
by Stuart Woods

Dark Harbor

 

Copyright: 2006

Pages: 374

Read: Sept. 4 – 6, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 

Blurb: Stone Barrington hasn’t heard from his cousin Dick Stone in years. Then an otherwise pleasant meal at Elaine’s is interrupted by the CIA with the news of Dick’s death – apparently by his own hand. It seems that Dick Stone, a quiet family man who doubled as a CIA agent, methodically executed his wife, daughter, and himself – or did he? Appointed executor of Dick’s will, Stone must settle the estate and – with the help of his ex-partner Dino and friend Holly Barker – piece together the elusive facts of his cousin’s life and death as a CIA operative. At every step, Stone knows he is being watched by Dick’s family – and one of them just may be the killer…


Review: This is the 12th book in the Stone Barrington series. They are no literary feats, but they’re usually a good, fun, and quick read. This installment is no exception to that. It had been a few months since I last visited with Stone, so it was nice to jump back in with the gang.

This particular book was enjoyable. I liked the storyline and there was a twist with Holly that really ramped up the suspense in this one! My one and only complaint is Stone’s womanizing – how can he go from practically proposing to Arrington to hopping in bed with Holly within 24 hours irritates me to no end.

Overall, a fun and fast read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has definitely left me wanting to get to #13 sooner rather than later!

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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.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES, Stephanie Plum

Review: Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

Ten Big Ones
by Janet Evanovich

Ten Big Ones

 

Copyright: 2004

Pages: 319

Read: Aug 22 – 27, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Goodwill

 

Blurb: Swing off the Jersey Turnpike and you’ll be in bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s neighborhood. You’ll know it because all hell will be breaking loose. Not that she looks for trouble – it just seems to follow her. In Ten Big Ones it explodes at a deli, and when Stephanie pegs a robber as a member of a vicious Trenton gang, they peg her as dead. Vice cop Joe Morelli fears she’s in way too deep – even with the help of crime-solving, cross-dressing bus driver Sally Sweet, and Stephanie’s friend Lula riding shotgun as backup. With a notorious killer on her tail, Stephanie figures the best hideout is Ranger’s secret lair…


Review: It had been about a year since the last time I had read a Stephanie Plum novel. I read quite a few of them in a relatively short time period and as a result, kind of burned out on them. So I knew I needed to take a break before I picked another one up. I’m glad that I made that decision, because I ended up really loving this book!

I cannot tell you how funny this particular installment is. I mean it was a laugh a minute!  Sure there are some roll-your-eyes moments (like when Stephanie has another car blown up…) but for the most part this one was just a really fun romp! And then there was the addition of Sally Sweet – what a hoot he is! And Ranger … the mystery of that man just oozes off the page…

Overall I’m really glad that I read this one; I really enjoyed it and it has definitely renewed my interest in this series!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Harry Bosch, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Lost Light by Michael Connelly

Lost Light
by Michael Connelly

Lost Light

 

Copyright: 2003

Pages: 385

Read: July 13 – 18, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 

Blurb: The vision has haunted him for four years – a young woman lying crumpled in death, her hand outstretched in silent supplication. Harry Bosch was taken off the Angella Benton murder case when the production assistant’s death was linked with the violent theft of two million dollars from a movie set. Both files were never closed. Now retired from the L.A.P.D., Bosch is determined to find justice for Angella. Without a badge to open doors and strike fear into the guilty, he’s on his own. And even in the face of an opponent more powerful and ruthless than any he’s ever encountered, Bosch is not backing down.  


Review: This is the 9th book in the Harry Bosch series. I really need to read these quicker than one a year. I distinctly remember how the 8th book ended, with Harry’s retirement from the LAPD. And I was eager to see where he went from there. So I was anxious to finally get around to this book to see how he was faring in retirement. I was not disappointed!

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It had an interesting storyline and I found it to move pretty quickly. Bosch is so not tech savvy and it left me chuckling more than once – and it definitely reminded me of my father-in-law!! There was also a very interesting revelation at the end of the book that has me looking forward to the 10th installment!

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what case Harry finds himself involved in next … as well as where his personal life goes from here. I hope I get to book #10 sooner rather than later!

3.5/5, Alexander Hawke, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Assassin by Ted Bell

Assassin
by Ted Bell

Assassin

 

Copyright: 2004

Pages: 590

Read: June 14-20, 2018

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Bookmooch

 

Blurb: Alexander Hawke, a direct descendant of the legendary pirate Blackhawke, is an expert on espionage and terror. A shadowy terrorist kingpin has orchestrated the systematic slayings of American diplomats, and as the death toll mounts, Hawke is called upon to avert a cataclysmic attack – while avenging a senseless crime that has left him devastated.

 


Review: This is the second book in the Alexander Hawke series. I had read the first book, Hawke, way back in 2013, so my memory of that was not very good. Luckily it didn’t really matter because there was enough background included for me to be able to follow along easily.

At 590 pages this book is way longer than what I normally read. The beginning was a little slower than I would have liked. But once the book picked up it was quite enjoyable to read and the 590 pages didn’t feel too terribly long.

Overall a good book that I enjoyed. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what adventures lay ahead for Alex Hawke!

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Kinsey Millhone, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton

F is for Fugitive
by Sue Grafton

F is for Fugitive

Copyright: 1989

Pages: 307

Read: April 9-15, 2018

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: When Kinsey Millhone first arrives in Floral Beach, California, it’s hard for her to picture the idyllic coastal town as the setting of a brutal murder. Seventeen years ago, the body of Jean Timberlake – a troubled teen who had a reputation with the boys – was found on the beach. Her boyfriend, Bailey Fowler, was convicted of her murder and imprisoned, but he escaped.

After all this time, Bailey’s finally been captured. Believing in his son’s innocence, Bailey’s father wants Kinsey to find Jean’s real killer. But most of the residents in this tight-knit community are convinced Bailey strangled Jean. So why are they so reluctant to answer Kinsey’s questions? If there’s one thing Kinsey’s got plenty of it’s persistence. And that’s exactly what it’s going to take to crack the lid on this case.

As Kinsey gets closer to solving Jean’s murder, the more dirty little secrets she uncovers in a town where everyone has something to hide – and a killer will kill again to keep the past buried…


Review: It’s been forever since I visited with Kinsey Millhone and so I was glad when this book popped up on my April call-out on a Goodreads challenge.

I had a lot of fun working the case with Kinsey. It definitely ended up going in a direction that I never saw coming, although there was a couple small instances that should have clued me in had I been paying more attention.

Jumping back in with Kinsey definitely made me want to read more of her and soon! I don’t remember her being so badass, but I definitely enjoyed it! She’s smart and strong, a good (and sometimes rare) combination in female protagonists. I definitely appreciate that aspect of her character.

I did jot down this quote from the very end that resonated with me:

If love is what injures us, how can we heal?

I’m seriously bummed that Ms. Grafton passed away a little while ago. I’m disappointed that the alphabet now ends with Y … but I am satisfied with the decision to not use a ghost writer to finish the series out (I hate, hate, HATE when that occurs.) I’m looking forward to getting around to G sooner rather than later!!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES, Sookie Stackhouse

Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead
by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead

Copyright: 2007

Pages: 323

Read: March 9-14, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchased at the Used Book Store
Blurb: Betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse must now not only deal with a possible new man in her life – the oh-so-handsome shape-shifter Quinn – but also contend with a long-planned vampire summit. With her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans, the local vampire queen is vulnerable to those hungry for a take-over. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe…


Review: This is the 7th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I read the 6th installment back in early 2016. Oops? No wonder I was a little out of sorts trying to remember what had happened in a few places….

Most of this particular book is dealing with the actions that happened in the 6th book, so I definitely recommend reading that one before this one to save some serious confusion.

I enjoyed this one though. It was interesting and kept me entertained throughout the entire book. It definitely renewed my interest in this series and I hope I get to the 8th book sooner rather than later.

 

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES, Stone Barrington, U-V-W

Review: Two Dollar Bill by Stuart Woods

Two Dollar Bill
by Stuart Woods

Two Dollar Bill

Copyright: 2004

Pages: 349

Read: Feb.19-26, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Not long after Stone and his ex-partner Dino make the acquaintance of Billy Bob – a smooth-talkie’ Texan packing a wad of rare two-dollar bills – someone takes a shot at them. Against his better judgment, Stone offers Billy Bob a safe haven for the night but almost immediately regrets it. The slippery out-of-towner goes missing and someone is found dead – in Stone’s town house no less. Stone is now caught by a beautiful federal prosecutor and a love from his past, a con man with more arises than hairs on his head, and a murder investigation that could ruin them all.


Review: This is the 11th book in the Stone Barrington series. I’m not going to lie, these books are not anywhere near literary feats. But they can usually be depended upon for some good fun!

This particular installment saw Stone in some precarious situations. And at some point I was shaking my head wondering how on earth Stone would get himself out of the jam he was in. He made some bonehead moves. And yet he managed to come out on top. It was all a little unbelievable at one point. But hey, it was still a fun read.

An entertaining book that leaves me eagerly anticipating the 12th book!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Jack Reacher, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Die Trying by Lee Child

Die Trying
by Lee Child

Die Trying by Lee Child

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 422

Read: Jan. 12-19, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

Blurb: Jack Reacher is an innocent bystander – in the wrong place at the wrong time – when a woman is kidnapped. Now, he’s at the mercy of a group of men demanding an impossible ransom, for this mysterious woman is worth far more than Reacher’s ever suspected. And though she doesn’t ask for his help, he’s going to give it to her…

Because ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a hero. He’s used to saving lives. But this time he’s going to take a few before he’s through…


Review: This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series. I read the first one, Killing Floor, nearly 4 years ago. Oops!

This one, for the most part, I enjoyed. I felt like the plot was a little convoluted and far-reaching. But I suppose that’s kind of what you get when you’ve got a character like Jack Reacher….But I like Jack Reacher the character. He’s got charm, and yet he’s indisputably badass at the same time. There’s just something about him. I honest think that his character is the reason I kept reading this one, because to be honest with you, the overall storyline was not really my cup of tea. Clocking in at 422 pages, this book was a little chunkier than I have been reading lately. Unfortunately, I also feel like at least 100 pages could have been cut out and not much would have been missed.

Can a reader like a book because they like the main character? Because that’s really my feeling on this one. I didn’t care for the storyline itself, but I felt like Reacher made the book worth reading. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Jack Reacher … let’s just hope it’s not 3+ years before I get to it 😉

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES, Women's Murder Club

Review: 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

14th Deadly Sin
by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

14th Deadly Sin

Copyright: 2014

Pages: 304

Read: Dec. 29, 2017 – Jan. 2, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: With a beautiful baby daughter and a devoted husband, Detective Lindsay Boxer can safely say that her life has never been better. In fact, things seem to be going well for all the members of the Women’s Murder Club (for a change). But a birthday celebration for medical examiner Claire Washburn gets cut short when Lindsay is called to a gruesome crime scene, where a woman has been murdered in broad daylight. Then video footage of another crime surfaces, so horrific that it shakes the city to its core. Wearing SFPD jackets, their faces obscured by masks, the cold-blooded criminals on tape could be anyone – and all of Lindsay’s coworkers are suspects. As pubic fear and anger grow, Lindsay and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice – before it’s too late.


Review: This was my first finished book of 2018. It was a quick read that I took on my vacation and read mainly on the airplane rides (and during the 4 hour delay ::eyeroll::)

I can always rely on James Patterson for an enjoyable and easy read. This one was no exception. The two storylines were both fun to “work the case” with Lindsay and company. The character development was good – Joe is trying to figure out where he’s going next after losing his job, Yuki leaves the DA’s office and takes a new job, Cindy has written a book and is doing the publicity for that. I just love series books because you get to know all these great characters!

As usual, I would recommend starting this series from the beginning, but at the same time it would probably stand well on its own if need be. This one was just a good, easy read … definitely “brain candy” for me. And I look forward to the 15th in the series.