Thursday, September 30, 2010

FIRST THRILLS short stories- various authors****

Some really good stories in here along with some stupid ones, some I couldn't read or didn't want to bother. Anything that starts "It was 1865" I'm about done with. Princess of Felony Flats was a waste of my time and barely readable, Karen Slaughter writes a story building up an ex wifes hatred of her dying husband and comes up with absolutely nothing for revenge. I mean, I left empty and flat. Stupid.

There's probably something for everyone in here. Sci fi, thrills, suspense and some good writers, Lee Child, Stephen Coonts, Jeffrey Deaver. It's not bad at all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A HIDDEN AFFAIR by Pam Jenoff ***

Too early yet for stars. I so want to scribble in this one. The stupid protag Jordan says the love of her life (Jared, yes I have 'he got it at Jared' crap in my head the whole time) 10 yrs ago disappeared. 10 YEARS AGO. Plus she keeps touching the 'diamond' engagement ring he never gave her that is now dangling around her stupid multiple-time-strangled neck. Their "relationship" was a mere few months (MONTHS) so she's either very naive or optimistically stupid. She's on a mission to find this one true love.... and we get to travel along. At his last known address some blonde bimbo runs out, gets a plane ticket and takes off for Austria; we follow.

Also there is a lot of 'history'; she almost got strangled a few months ago, she was on another trip when her friend Sophie lost her life picking up something at Jordan's apartment (her eyes tear up), she is continually reviewing her past. I must have missed the previous installment and guess not care. Don't want to hear about it either. Even if I so happened to read the book last year WTF. Am I supposed to be reminded by this repetition of information and go...O YEAH now I remember! It's all making sense NOW! LOL

Anyways easy reading, easy to follow, limited number of participants which I like. I'm still reading it and I'm almost half way thru it. Putting Jordan's mindlessness aside it's not badly written, just often absurd. Looking forward to the chase but partly because I like to laugh at Jordan. At the least...she's amusing!

Amusing: She's a stalker of her 10 yr ago fling Jared. She has one drink in a bar, finds out the ex is married, runs into a bathroom and vomits. She's some kind of CIA lightweight. I cannot help laughing. Meanwhile she's falling madly in love with Ari, a guy helping her chase Jared's new wifey poo who foots the bill for Jordan everywhere her wittle piddy paddy feets wants to go.

I am very much in favor of Ari's attitude towards Israel and everything said about needing a country and how the other countries treat Jews. I actually added a star after reading page 128.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE by C. Buckley ****

The book is definitely readable. It's about an avian flu that decimates the world. But it's viewed from one family, say mid 40s and their 2 daughters. A year after the husband leaves the wife and the flu hits - he moves back in with the ex and brings along his 20 something girlfriend. RIGHT. Like that has a touch of reality. NOT.

So anyways they don't seem to have any sort of physical relationship at all (girlfriend ex husband) they sleep apart. Shazia, the girlfriend, pretty much does nothing for weeks on end but eat their food, let everyone cook and clean up after her and she just mopes around sleeping. She would be walking back to Cairo IRL.

The ex wife lost a baby and just can't stop imagining him every day even tho it's 10 years later. So anyways the flu hits, it's the beginning of winter and 6 feet of snow land destroying power all over the east coast. We can just pile it all on for this fiction novel; it's not fiction for no reason. In any case, I don't mind reading it at all altho so much of it is preposterous. If there's no power for 100 miles, there's no frickin WATER. Doofus...water is pumped...electricity....duh. Plus cars had a pile up on the highway--wouldn'tcha know and of course no one can drive anyplace. Apparently no one has 4 wheel drive or snow mobiles. The snow plows never show up. The power company never shows up. Every store is empty and closed. No one works. No one ever hangs out with anyone else due to the flu killing everyone.

It's got a very narrow focus on the one family and since there's no animosity towards the bimbo it lacks a lot what could have been much better. But it doesn't suck. Finished it and there were some small surprises but by the time you find out this stuff you're beyond caring. So much angst and so little reward for the reader.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The WHISPERERS by John Connolly ****

I'm more than half thru this and I like it. There are some boring narrative areas but all in all it's an interesting plot about some ex GIs who are selling antiquities and are in possession of a gold box that's whispering to them, causing suicides of the men involved in the smuggling. Protag is investigating this aspect.

Of course there is information on PTSD, some on serving in Iraq, some on the recruiters techniques, some about torture so the writer delves into a lot of areas and some is repetitious. I can't say it's one of my favorite books but I am interested enough to continue to the end. Not a wicked page turner but nothing I want to quit either.

I would guess he has more male readers, or at least he seems to be writing more for men than women but even a female GI has her issues with the service and he gets into it very well. Most of the service stuff is very realistic. Go for it.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Mostly boring. Generic murder mystery with typical plot. If you switched weather and food along with a few names you could republish this as Catered Barbeque and there are plenty of other Catered-whatevers. These people have to all be 100 lbs overweight but actual physical traits aren't mentioned all that much. All they eat is cake, cookies, pies etc.

Every chapter is basically hash and rehash of every suspect, with every reason on the planet why he or she could be the killer and how they did it. Just over and over and over discussing this are 2 sisters and whoever else they corner to hear them while moving dogs around, eating and snowing.

Not a big fan. BUT if you need something to fall asleep reading this is probably good for nodding off. B-O-R-I-N-G to S-N-O-R-I-N-G.

I wasn't even going to mention the fact she has a Richard and a Rick. How many frickin names are there? A billion? We gotta have Rick and Richard? (FYI Rick is a Richards nickname) Melissa and Missy. Annabel, Joanna and Anna. SHEEESH. Get a book of names from around the world to put this crap to bed. Where's the creativity? Not HERE!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The ART of RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein ****

I did buy this one because I have read it. Someone else recently mentioned how great it was so I bought a copy cuz I wasn't that impressed the first time around. It's about life from a dogs point of view with some philosophy thrown in here and there. The dog Enzo begins with an owner, Denny who then finds true love, marries, moves around and accommodates his life to fit hers and their kid then the wife has health and submissive family issues and I won't give it away more than that. Personally I think she needed a spine insertion. Or she's just an asshole.

Denny is a race car driver and the writer/dog have a jones for it which I don't really care about and all the racing crap including who's famous and who I don't GAS about, all could be deleted without me noticing. Writer likes to philosophize about life as a race in the rain. Not a 'dog' lover book in particular. Promotes nothing about spay/neuter, litters, or poor breeding practices or pet overpopulation etc. Contributes nothing there so I guess in general I don't understand what the point of telling it from the dog view is. Why? What's the point? Cuz the dog wants to be a human and believes in reincarnation? Is that the point? What goes around comes around? I suppose that must be the point. Not impressed. It's ok, fair. Not one of my favorites. Much prefer Marley and Me if I had to choose between them. The Dalai Lama book I recommend if you're interested in reincarnation.

Looking at it philosophically myself the human race is not to be admired. If you doubt this go to a shelter and watch them put dogs to sleep and ask where did all these innocent dogs COME FROM, HUH???? WHERE? It would be a better story if the human aspired to reincarnate back as a dog...a higher form of life in my opinion. Don't even bother me with your shit until you've seen dogs euthanized. Really.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

QUEEN of the NIGHT by J.A.Jance ****

Was good reading but every introduction to a person required a paragraph to a page of long ago history which in most cases didn't have anything to do with this story. I said "most' cases but there were a few related. I just never knew which boring rehash I had to know and which I didn't. In all likelihood not knowing would have been fine. Here's an example of WTF do I care: "Brian drove Delia back to her home in Sells. He knew that at one time she and Leo had lived in the house Delia had inherited from her aunt Julia in Little Tucson, but sometime in the recent past they had moved back into the Ortiz family compound behind the gas station." Do I GAS? No. Is it moving the story line forward? No. So lots and lots of little tidbits like that draining your interest level.

Basically well written, over-detailed, sentimental, flowery, some romance, with some hocus pocus thrown in for spice. Not bad, not great. So so. Something to read without ripping your hair out but nothing a guy would want to read. In the same vein as Fried Green Tomatoes with murders.

About 25 people involved in their own private worlds, and in the end they are related by marriage or friendships or something and their stories intertwine because of the murders. Story is more focused on the inter-relationships and lives of everyone than the murders.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

9 DRAGONS by Michael Connelly ***

Haven't read enough to rate yet but so far so good. I like the smart cops, I like the quick investigations and logical way of reading crime scenes. I enjoy that small stuff and it's written well so I'm not bored. Nice intro to new characters and scenes but there is some manly push and shove, that as a female I don't get. Guess there's a lot of testosterone flung around. Small things I wouldn't think would irritate a guy make dents in their egos here. Am waiting for someone to whip it out and piss on someone else....stay tuned.

Now I get to conclusion jumping. On and on. Some guy was extorting a store owner who is now dead, the cops automatically assume he's the killer, so they are following him all over town (boring BTW) as he then extorts the son. Why on gods earth would someone extort the son after he killed the father? Did he threaten the son? Nope. Did he say, what happened to daddy will happen to you? Nope. Did daddy pay the extortion fee? Yup. Dead anyways. Seems like RED HERRING is written all over this aspect. Writer drags me around without explanation. Don't like it. Not only that but the cops are working for no pay overtime wasting MY TIME with the car chasing b.s.  Get it over. Please. I'm sure this'll take up about 4 chapters. GRRREEAT.

Absurd: the entire cops case is based on NOTHING. No evidence whatsoever. Nice police work. All done on assumptions forcing facts to fit the crime blahblahblah. Now the hero is racing off to Hong Kong to save his kidnapped idiot child who befriended a suspicious character linking to this entire thing a week ago??? WTF? Weeks BEFORE the shooting. Preplanned super intelligent triad criminals. LOL This cop looks like a bumbling moron, he has no evidence linking anyone to anything. What a dork.

Absurd: Guy tells ex wife who's living in Hong Kong when he gets there he'll need a gun. Does wife get one during those 24 hrs waiting for him to arrive so they can immediately get down to the business of finding kidnapped asshole teenager? No! They waste time after he arrives driving all over to get a gun.

FRANKENSTEIN City of Midnight by Dean Koontz****

Well, another book of the series down. I liked it but again, feel like it's written for a younger audience. NTTAWWT. Some absurdities but I guess the title is a clue for that. Like tumors running around without their pants on meanwhile some comedian PD officers (who are VERY funny BTW) are driving around town with gigantic guns hoping to kill hard-to-kill monsters but everytime I get close to seeing something happen the book ends. That's one reason I don't like series. End something. The only ending here is someone's (Arnie) safety the rest is still hovering over the equator like gnats.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FRANKENSTEIN Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz ****

Well I had to go to the library and order these back books so I could figure out the entire series. The book is a page turner, very quick read. It's dark and scary with Frankenstein still alive creating monsters. The progression from the 4th back to the 1st book is sort of odd because it's more scientific and clone-y by the 4th book.

There are a lot of iron clad rules by which the monsters live such as they are unable to commit suicide, they can't fall in love, they can't turn on the creator, they can eat almost anything, they have 2 hearts blahblah and this is going to have to carry thru every book in the series but I don't remember any of these rules in book 4. Also these monsters are supposedly placed all over the country in positions of power and have taken over some other people's lives but the stories get very concentrated into one or two of the monsters without ever delving into the rest of them or what the hell they're doing. It's like they're forgotten or something. Unless they're not fully integrated yet? Never explained. There are things I don't like about the book, such as that. I don't like how unkillable they are and can run so fast as to beat out cars because I don't think this is going to hold up for the entire series. I don't remember that in book 4. We'll see.

Maybe it's designed for younger readers? I don't know. It's fast paced, easy to follow and well written but I don't know why I'm not more impressed. Maybe it's too superhero/monster for me. Like a kids comic book? Not sure.