Thursday, March 25, 2010

RAVENS by George Dawes Green

Next on the hit list! Oh great a family wins 300 million, some idiot 20 year olds hear the news and go in to steal the money. One stays with the family, the other drives around pointlessly supposedly to kill a family member (all of them conveniently live nearby) if the other idiot doesn't call every 20 minutes.

The first thing to piss me off is that the writer just glides right over an adult male owning a gun and handing it over to one of the punks. Not one punch is thrown, not a shot fired and why don't I know how many guns are in the house? All it says is "so and so got the fathers gun"....what? Who is hiding the knives because I would kill the idiot after a phone call, with family helping, then have 20 mins to call everyone and the cops and catch the second killer. So how is that not happening? The ticket is in a safety deposit box otherwise book would be over I guess.

I really couldn't take the absurdity of these 2 guys taking off, coming back etc and somehow managing the entire clan without anyone calling the cops. I read the last chapter and hung it up. At one point the "cold blooded" killer changes some old man's colostomy bag. Right? What? Over and out. 

THE PRICE OF SANCTUARY by Gaylon Greer ***

Female tough girl Shelby meets the first assassin, Hank, they fall in love. At first she seems like a sentimentalist ass but gets over it.

The second assassin Vlad, is a weirdo who starts off trying to get information about Shelby. He has planted bugs everywhere in this couple's house, he then kills them both without getting any useful information and then he takes off leaving all the bugs in place. Nice job killer!

Vlad doesn't even bother using technology to get his information a telephone? Just call the unsuspecting couple (who haven't been warned by anyone) ask to speak with Shelby and if not there ask where to reach her. Too difficult? Ok, go poke the couple with a stick.

The killer, Vlad, told to wait at one location, runs around to the first expected place Shelby will be without even knowing she's alive or dead or where she will really show up. Just rush in- fool.

In the end we have no idea WHO really wants her dead do we? No. Then because Shelby wants money, to save her new boyfriend and sister, volunteers to be a hired killer for the same person who wanted her dead. They only get 30 thousand a hit and she really needs about 500 thousand. Puh-LUS she's going to cut off her thumb to prove she's dead for the original hit her boyfriend was supposed to make. I think I'd forsake the piddling 30/thumb bit, and go for the hirer. Makes for a better following novel. BTW This hot young piece of meat is with a guy 2x her age who's now half blind, limps and has cancer without a penny to his name. It all makes sense to me...not.

Ok the writing is fine, it has action and the story flows. Some things make no sense like the bugs everywhere. Why bother with all that if you're just going to kill people anyhow? But otherwise it doesn't suck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CASTLE by J. Robert Lennon ***

This one demands attention from the start. The character is a mystery, his past is unknown and I'm halfway thru it. He bought this house in a town he lived in as a child and doesn't have many connections remaining. He's a stoic sort of person and relates his story in an unemotional manner. He's also arrogant, aloof and distant.

There's a hidden broken down castle in a square of land in the middle of his recent purchase that doesn't belong to him yet somehow draws him to it. The entire story is dark and eerie. There's no distractions, everything works, descriptions, scenes, people and their conversations altho sometimes you wonder why the story teller/protagonist takes everything people say to him personally and as having an underlying meaning. Never is this explained.

It's intriguing even though you are distracted from getting a lot of information about the character. I am so far enjoying it halfway thru. 

Didn't think the ending was very exciting. Author leads you around by the nose and you are expecting something thrilling which you never get. The ending is almost a figment of your own imagination.

Was the character hallucinating the castle, professor part? Any consequences to murdering the professor in this town? How old was this old fart anyway? What's with the deer? What's with the forest devoid of animals and insects, the Indian massacre or not? Why'd they come back at the end then? Did his mom/dad have an accident or something else? What the hell was the "conditioned training" all about? He gets drugged or passes out a lot to derail the writer having to get down to the truth. Now that I'm done, and I do know quite a bit about conditioned responses and Pavlov, I don't think the author has a clue about it and details from him are very vague -hinting I'm right. 

Author did a good job of drawing me in but once I got there he confused things, made everything ambiguous and I wasn't satisfied with the ending. Did he call a recruiter? What was in his mail? Why did he buy the land and not live there? What's the story with hating his sister? Just cuz she wouldn't be manipulated and he was? Leaving unsatisfied. WTF? 

Friday, March 19, 2010

HOW TO SELL by Clancy Martin ****

I liked it soon as I started altho the writer likes to get confusing switching from past to present. It's not easy to know what day we're presently attending but otherwise I like the story. It's about a kid who gets into the jewelry business.

Very interesting scams and work arounds in the jewelry business. It's not a how to, the guy is sort of shady to begin with and being in the business doesn't help. I don't particularly care what happens to any of the characters, they're all borderline criminals, but I haven't got far enough into the book to determine their involvement as yet. 

Easy to read, people have character traits you can follow and the story moves along with few bumps in the road (past references, blahblahblah). I like it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

CAT STRIKING BACK by Shirley Rousseau Murphy *

Something is missing, either we're on another planet or 'someone' does a ton of hallucinogenics...not me.

To start with; cats can talk, next and most baffling of all they have human intelligence. Ok so that's not all, an empty pool figures into this one and it's not covered, fenced or made safe so children don't die in it and I'm thinking that would be illegal in most every state in the US so this HAS to be some other planet. Plus the guy tries to cover up a death. The death happens in the muddy wet disgusting slimy empty pool, the body is in rigor with arms unable to bend yet somehow he manages to carry/drag this female and lock her up in his trunk with no mention of filthy car, muddy dirty trunk, how he closed the trunk with woman's arms spread and frozen in position? Not more than a few drops of blood, no prints, no body impression in the pool....I mean this writer wins Cat Writers awards and shit. Unless she sponsors them for herself and wins?????

Charlie and Ryan are females, so with names that writers like to fling about like stardust this isn't helpful. Plus we have cat names to memorize. Not only that but there's only one idiot on earth who thinks there's such a thing as a MALE calico cat. They do not call them money cats without reason. The calico color is sex linked and only females can be calico UNLESS you are on THIS particular planet or are more fucked up with your meds than the writer. Any male would be sterile so much for Sage the calico TOMCAT who has a girl-cat. LOL!

People gone on vacation that we never meet in the story get whole pages devoted to their lives. I DO NOT GAS. Ok....and pigs fly, the bears are catholic and the pope shits in the woods with the cats.

Reading for laughs at the writer's inability to deal with reality. I'm barely 1/3 into this zombie.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

MR & MISS ANONYMOUS by Fern Michaels **

So far it's ok I have plans to keep reading and I'm on page 10. 

It's a limp dick romance mystery about egg/sperm donors who are finding out some weird "experiments" were happening instead of helping infertile couples. So the lead couple have some kids running around somewhere.

Written by an older (elderly?) person with strange terminology like 'guff' that she makes a like 30 yo woman say. This is another convenient problem solver where shit just falls into place, like 2 people meet in their twenties then just happen to be boarding the same plane 10yrs later to go reveal information from their twenties they were both involved in. Ta da! They are suddenly in LOVE. And a severely mentally handicapped KID in a library FULL of people conveniently draws a picture of total strangers mom, dad, and killer so everyone can pass that out to the FBI who are so blatantly stupid they're tricked by the killer with a fake ID to leave the scene of a brutal shooting. Riighhtttt. The killer tells them he'll report them to some higher up wingnut if they don't leave and go to NY so they do. BWWAAAAAHAAA

FBI they're not the brightest bulbs in the box but come on. Even like a half day later they are still believing fake ID?? No one is covering the crime scene? Give it up lady. And the child this couple is trying to find is under 18 yrs old and over 6'2" tall. I find that somewhat distracting. I keep going HUH?? All the time. He can hide in a mouse hole and crawl thru vents etc...I mean come on....srsly?? Fer real? He outruns adults...he's he's superman!

There are ghosts in this story so of course it's hard to tell who "soccer player' is and who everyone is talking to alive or dead. It gets confusing. It's wishy washy and old ladyish TO ME. I read a lot of books and that's my thoughts on it. It's not hard to follow, very few descriptions of people faces etc but it's not horrid. I'll finish it which is more than I can say about some books.

ABANDONED by Cody McFadyen *

I started this one then abandoned it in boredom. Here is the main character, here is her main story, then "this is my life" she says that over and over it should be the title. Then a new character, and here is his life. New person, new life. On and on. And on and on and intros all around. They all are killers or have lost someone in their past to violence. This is a weird crowd with lots of mental issues. I suppose in a future chapter someone grabs a weapon and shoots them all in the head and we'll need to be intro'd to new characters with the same blahblahblah. Lots of characters before 30 pages with their life histories. I hate that. HATE it.

Someone is getting married, a car screams into the lot throws a bald bloody woman out and drives away. Next thing you're at the hospital with her description, her marks, everyone in the hospital goes home, more about her condition blahblahblah....just a waste of time. No ACTION. No interest. Buh bye.


Monday, March 8, 2010

RUNNING HOT by Jayne Ann Krentz ****

I've read this author before and she's entertaining. This is an "Arcane Society Novel" which means about the society of para normals. They see auras and what not and solve crimes etc. Everyone needs a schtick. 

She reads easily, slow intros to new characters, explains each one as she goes without being interruptive. Good descriptions. The locale is Hawaii area so I like that. 

I'm sure anyone can breeze thru her novels without trouble they're sort of romance-y but I guess you can't read a novel without that nowadays. Continuing on....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

NIGHTWALKER by Heather Graham ***

This writer is a romance writer wannabe. The two main characters meet, stare, feel their connection as if the world isn't right without the other one. True love! Anyway there's an analogy "losing the roll of the dice was like losing her soul" a little dramatic?  The female is quite the liar for awhile, but she's basically a Barbie.
The premise of this is ghosts. She sees them, her not quite Native American grandfather sees them, her boyfriend works finding them and has a ghost hanging around with him thruout the book. BOO

The start is some cowboy saloon scene with over 10 characters in less than 16 pages and since it's the beginning, you have no connection to anyone, learning names seems like an exercise in futility. Then the character is rolling dice on a craps table where of course she's losing her soul every roll, but between rolls you get flashbacks and history and blahblahblah. 

I'm almost half way thru it and it's not horrid, gives ok descriptions, things sometimes flow along naturally but the stupid romance is bothersome with them goo goo eyeing each other, finally they have sex and whoppee. Not a big deal, not very hot either. 

Continuing on.....some anomalies: dead guy's last meal from the coroner "steak and potatoes"  then a later comment, "Not a vegetable in 24 hrs". Call me crazy but I thought potatoes were veggies. A ghost relates the story of his death saying he can't remember the rest (he died) but 'heard' about it, or 'read' about it. LOL He's a GHOST.

Overcoming the suspension of disbelief it's not unreadable but if it's supposed to be a ghost story, it's lacking. If it's supposed to be a romance, I've read better. If it's supposed to be some kind of mystery she sure ain't Agatha.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SKIN by Mo Hayder ***

Started this one, very very confusing beginning. It's a bloody English writer. Not a fan -but will continue. This female cop enjoys men staring at her breasts, she wants to be a piece of meat. Good for her. She's driving around for 4 days with a dead body in her car and can't smell it when she drives the car? Back to WTF land of weirdness. 

Pet peeve; when writers pretend the main character is so dumb, blind or deaf that when something is occuring, such as a dive- she can't see what's around her at all. Something mysterious passes by and floats above her and she just can't seem to see it. So like real life.

Well shall plod on with gear stowed in boots, search units, derelict squats, torches and what not. Quote "she'd cocked up an emergency procedure...." page 15. Clueless. More weird language: dob me in; body armour sometimes gave her gyp; I'm not a snout. 

She's a cop. Her brother kills someone puts the body in her car then she drives it around 4 days not even noticing. AND she can lift a dead weight body which has expanded and drips gross crap out of the trunk of a car- alone. Do not believe. Ya lost me there. And come on; 4 days? Hot car boot? Get real. Shove it up your oxymoron.

So being the swell cop that she is (wish she drowned first chapter) covers up the crime by dicking around with the corpse and a freezer. In reality if she tried to move a 4 day old body as in this story it would have come apart. If she yanked an arm body fluids would ooze everywhere, there would be nothing to grab, skin would peel off. Her car boot would be covered with ooze. She could not burn the rug from the boot and get rid of the stench. She would have had to burn the entire car and still that may not work and for sure it'd still stink to high heaven.

BTW in this book she dives solo and I guess in England they let Darwin win more often but in the US no one dives without a buddy. 

Somehow about half way thru it the tension about what this cop is going to do with the body, and what's she going to do about her brother keeps me reading. Then plot twists and things keep rolling along. I am actually hooked on the story right now but it did take me half the book. The writer needs to get rid of the English slang, explain things in more depth at the beginning without referring to past crimes that are remaining untold. Don't bring your past old books in the new one. IDGAS. If she did that earlier it'd have been easier to fall into. Giving it an ok rating but it was a struggle to get here.

And another writer who has evil crime committing police. It's rampant cop killers everywhere. Really not a fan.