Saturday, April 30, 2011

FAT TUESDAY by Sandra Brown ***

Found this at a yard sale it's ca 1997. Murder, kidnapping, cops, bad cops, worse lawyers, hookers, shootings, alligators, Louisiana bayou shacks and stuff like that. Not a bad read but nothing special either. Could have lost a few chapters and been a better read.

NEXT by James Hynes *

Guy is on a plane, disembarks, gets in a taxi. Meanwhile you get all his past about high school, an old girlfriend, the sound of tires on cement, imaginary bombs, every lousy detail of his life past and present. Couldn't finish chapter one. Blah. So much narrative rambling crap- I am done.

TUTANKHAMUN by Nick Drake *

Boring, couldn't finish one chapter. There is a murder so if you have a lot of fortitude and like egyptian history this one's for you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The INSANE TRAIN by Sheldon Russell ***

This 'mystery' is written in the past (like mid 1900s?) it seems but the author is never specific about what time frame. There aren't many descriptions, a few of some characters but none about locations, towns, houses, or rooms or the train. Have no idea what the train car looked like or how the insane were located in each car. Were beds involved? Were there just seats? Curtains, windows? Food service? Other people aside from the travelers? Who cooked the meals?

Hook (protag) works for a railroad and for some odd reason unrelated to his normal job needs to accompany a bunch of loonies to another location on a train. No idea how many days passed, what day of week, time of day it was. Meanwhile people were being selectively murdered in various methods (unlike other serial killers) and at the end not many motives were explained for each one. Just the murderer had nothing better to do I guess? She was retaliating for the murder of a family member and didn't believe in an insanity verdict. Meanwhile somewhere in the story she states "These are NOT criminals, they are insane" when they were deemed by a jury or judge to be CRIMINALLY INSANE. So....yeah they are criminals... DUH. Or not? Confusing?

Phrases that are bizarre besides almost every character using stupid "GODDDANG":
"I have business to take care of blahblah so I might be out of pocket for a few days."
"I'm not much of a catch for a woman. Some say I'm too quick to drop the hat."
"The railroad isn't happy about putting rip-track up in no hotel."
"And tell Frenchy to lay up when his trick's over."
"Should have packed those journals in the yard."
These stupid phrases are distracting and WTF do they mean and do I care? NOPE.

Wasn't very enjoyable reading for me. I didn't like the stupid phrases, the bizarre off the wall murders without explaining each one, how, why, when, how'd Miss Murderer get it done. Wasn't much of a murder mystery for me. More like hobo-dirty under-the-bridge roughnecks breaking the law with regularity but turn out to be make believe good guys. I wouldn't think ANY of them 'good' in any sense of the term but maybe writer does? Even lead character is an asshole as well as his miserable loose running killer dog. It's readable but puzzling.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS by Dean Koontz *****

Can't go wrong reading DK. Family haunted by dad's past life and evil overcomes the house and strangers all intent on finishing them off. With a golden retriever's ghost of course--he only has a bit part but he's there.

I love reading Koontz but this one has some convoluted ideas atop other convoluted ideas but you can make up your mind about that. Supernatural killing is over my head I suppose. Too much 'taking over' for my likings.

On page 358...."he would pray for....everyone who knew pain, which meant everyone who wore a human face." Animals feel pain as well, tho technically not "who's".

CROSS FIRE by James Patterson *****

Action packed adventure. Alex Cross marries and his arch enemy Kyle is back. Lots of political work stuff, murders, snipers and lots of intrigue. The writing is terse and well done as usual.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The DEAD DETECTIVE by William Heffernan ****

This was pretty good but there were some trouble areas for me. The detective Harry, was killed along with his brother as a child, by their mom, but he was revived his brother not so lucky. So his mom is in jail. Lots of molesting women in the book. He gets a new female partner Vicky, to handle a murder of a ....guess.....female child molester and she's sort of stupid. She works with another detective and gullibly follows along everything he suggests throughout the novel without her own brain intervening.

One cop, Nick, is suspected as the killer so he supposedly kills someone then types up a suicide note (yeah TYPED) explaining the kid he killed was "onto" him and had a big mouth. Then they find that cop dead by "suicide". So why would he defeat his purposes? He would either have A) killed the kid and continued to evade detection or B) kill himself --but both?? Any cop (Harry/Vicky) believes that fiction is an asshole. Mr. Suicide is found with ONE feather on him. So if a feather pillow was used to suppress the gun shot why not a room full of feathers? HELL one??? ONE? Don't think so. Too unbelievable. Writer should use a feather pillow to suppress a gun shot before writing about it. MESS. A down couch looses 10 feathers a day or so. And just sits there doing nothing. If somebody shot it I think it would be irritated enough to bleed feathers all over the place.

The female cop is on a surveillance of a suspects house (Nick the supposed suicide) beginning at 5am then she leaves her post to pee at 5:30 am. Really? Um....women CAN pee in a jar too if necessary ya know. And why didn't she pee before she came on duty? Somewhere near the end Harry HAD to say what a crappy cop she is. But nope. The surveillance was done with two of his bestest cops and Nick still ends up murdered. Why isn't Harry more pissed, confused, upset, angry? IDK. He should have fired them both. And his boss should have fired HIM.

That's it. Done writing on the margins. Not a bad book otherwise, just don't be too logically minded - ignore the above and it's good for entertainment value.

Friday, April 15, 2011

WHEN THE THRILL IS GONE by Walter Mosley ****

I wasn't sure at first I was going to like this because the cryptic messages just trip over themselves one after another. I like the basic story, I like some of the internal stuff but it does grow old before the end of the book. Here's a sample: I was also a predator that lived on the invisible ether of personal information. (whatever that means) Not digital bullshit, I stalked people's souls, took from them their most precious possessions, their secrets...blahblahblah. He does a lot of that self admiration/self congratulatory/philosophy all thru the book. Everyone in the world lies- is his major philosophical outlook. Everyone lies all day long to everyone and ourselves. We never ever ever tell the truth. HUH?

What does "he could see funeral lights going up behind his eyes" mean? Funeral lights? And there's a magic wheel goes round and you always come back to where you started. HUH? So cryptic-weird like that.

It's about a private detective from either Harlem or someplace similar. A woman pays him a lot of money (when she really could have ran away and hid for a year) to protect her or her sister. I'm still not clear on that nor why she was murdered.

The protagonist thinks he's King Stud Muffin. He's married and screws (or wants to) everything moving towards him. He's also such a wonderful person to everyone, doing nice everywhere he goes to almost everyone he meets unless an enemy natch. His wife is also screwing around but sheesh he doesn't consider HIMSELF the problem. Or HIS screwing around. Lotta self delusion going on. He stuffs a woman he just screwed into the home of another he regularly screws and everyone is just hunky dory with that. Right.

The killer is someone not really a major player and for all the fake outs I was disappointed. Basically I did want to continue reading it, it flowed along well but very slowly, I would recommend you borrow it at the library. It's sort of different, not run of the mill at least.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The POSTCARD KILLERS by Patterson+ *****

Needs no explanation or rating from lowly me. Just your Guinness record setting NY Times best seller in action. Detective Jacob Kanon lost his only daughter to serial killers and is after them thru other countries with a semi-reluctant journalist, Dessie for company.

You're swept along with the realistic characters, get frustrated when they do and are anxiously looking forward to the killer's capture. Good one!

What's with all the (predominantly female) co writers? So much blahblahblah on the cover there's no room for artwork. Also who GAS who is tickling what?

Monday, April 11, 2011

COLD SHOT to the HEART by Wallace Stroby *****

Well written, all details attended to, suspenseful page turner. Hard to put this one down as it moves from one set of actions to another. Crissa is a criminal but she's never killed anyone. She takes a job, meets with the other people to rob a private card game when someone surprisingly gets killed by one of her partners putting her life in danger.

Now a stone cold killer wants the money she risked her life for and he's coming at her with a vengeance.

Great story and I think I was holding my breath a few times.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mr MONK on the ROAD by Lee Goldberg *****

Funny tongue in cheek humor. Monk and his brother go on a road trip with Natalie in a camper. As anyone who knows the series can imagine setting Ambrose (agoraphobic) and Adrian Monk loose on the general population under totally normal circumstances -it is fraught with peril. Debunking a "vortex" tourist attraction, bleaching the table that becomes Natalie's bed, recalled- and there fore- dangerous cereal, 10 minute mysteries and more amusing frolics across the CA highways and byways.

One shouldn't eat or drink while reading -liquids hurt coming out your nose.
Enjoyable reading.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Yuck. Other people attempted to read this, I could tell by the dog ears left in place but once I got past chapter 5 or so no one had continued. This is newish to the library. Lots of internal ramblings that sound like dreams in dreams, the past is rehashed over and over. Written first person and seems to be about this Simby guy, his bad marriage or it's crippling effect on him, or his job or changing his job. Lots of confusion there.

He like almost had an orgasm over finding an email in between spam mails. He reads other people's letters, or stories and everything sounds exactly as if this writer wrote it. Boring and tedious. The ex-wife...boring, Sims...boring, his friend Clive....boring...all sound the same boring reflective tone with non stop boring references to past more boring history. There are just pages and pages of rambling instance covered almost a chapter while Simby is following a GPS. It seems as if all the new tech stuff over impresses Mr. Writer. Yeah...we know about GPS, sim cards, we know about emails and spam, we know we know. Geez. Couldn't continue and the first chance I got to pass the library I ran it in scorching the pavement on my way. It was almost painful.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

HEAVEN's FURY by Stephen Frey ****

Too early to rate but I really like it a lot so far. Reason I'm starting this is cuz these super wealthy people live on the edge of a gorge or something in an otherwise rinky dink town. So Sheriff Summers is in love with one of the wealthy (billionaire) daughters since high school, Cindy. She of course turns up dead in her house after a night of people following her etc. most of which seemed pre-planned by her. What is very puzzling is why don't these rich people have top of the line burglar alarms? Not in this story. So; frightened Cindy answers the door to a gang of murderers? Or a couple of them? No alarm system in sight? WTF? I mean- get the killer around the system, fine with me, but shit, wealthy people have burglar systems....goes without saying. What doesn't fly is not even mentioning anything remotely protective in the house.

People's alibi's remain questionable till the end. How'd daddy miss the killers in his house? How'd he miss his daughter having sex with the husband and the cop? How'd the husband miss it all if he didn't make the drive home until very late? Lots of leftover endings here undealt with.

Ok so I'm finished and I really couldn't put it down, it was a page turner and I had very little idea what direction he was going in chapter to chapter. Twists, turns, surprises and unexpected. So the cop Sheriff Summers has very little respect in town and has always been bullied by Cindy's wealthy daddy. Meantime, we got drug dealers in the woods, a cult involving plenty of townspeople and they murder people selected by someone else in town. I'm not going to give stuff away but the ending was a disappointment for me because I didn't like the stripper and I did like the best friend. So the ending was bass-ackwards for me.

And I wasn't taking notes about who was where when and why didn't so and so trip over the other so and so if they were all pretty much piled on top of each other on the murder nights.
Could use some unraveling and who is running the sheriff's dept now? huh? How'd that all end? Waiting.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The NEIGHBORS r WATCHING - Debra Ginsberg ***

This is about a bunch of neighbors and all their supposedly dirty secrets (Desperate Housewives? Sort of). Husband Joe, screwing neighbor slut, Jess, his pregnant teenager Diana, moves in with him. You get a lot of internal narrative, little dialogue and rarely any action. I read 94 pages before there was even a hint teenage pregnant outcast's baby has a daddy. Then of course it was an 'accident' she got knocked up.

Some stuff is so subtle I don't have a clue what the point is. Like when Jess/Joe are screwing and some kind of point is trying to be made about their relationship? Or what she does for a living? Or why they didn't use the master bedroom? WTF? IDK. That happens more often than I'd like. I don't have ESP, I actually need to be told stuff that's in someone else's imagination. u?

Start off; one day pregnant girl shows up at pops. Time passes...whoosh you are now into her 9th month...time passes again "somehow" and boom she has a kid. It's like on a stage with the winged cardboard sign "TIME PASSES" flitting from stage left to stage right. Diana rarely does any of her own thinking or talking, or expressing of herself but everyone else does. Someone (Sam?) thinks about preggo's horrible shitty life...and the fuck would she know?

Then after delivery of child, mommy goes missing and the cops aren't called for DAYS (or weeks), her mom isn't notified for WEEKS...I mean, really???

I guess I'd call it psychological angst- the internal narrative dialogue that I can't stand. This book is pretty much all that b.s. It's not too horrible really, but seems I push on 'tediously'. I wouldn't have a problem suddenly dropping it past the expiration date. There must be readers thinking this is some intellectual, current-topic literary work but I'm not in that illustrious group.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

VELOCITY by Alan Jacobson **

Who or what is Karen Vail, should be title of book. Is she a lowly cop? A captain? She sure acts like it bossing everyone around. A crime scene pro? She pretends to be. A profiler? She brags about how she should "come on" to the "narcissistic" killer and in what manner. A hotheaded bitch? You decide.

Mayfield is considered, and in hospital, for being "Crush Killer" which I was never told until 70 pages in WHY he's called that. He crushes their windpipe I guess. So Mayfield the (now contract) serial killer is in the hospital yet when the star cop goes to his house there is no crime scene tape, no CSI have been there, she just goes ahead and breaks open the door. She also is held back (right) by recent knee surgery....and is running around chasing perps everywhere, thru hill and dale against orders from everyone, without search warrants or back up like she's superwoman with a sidekick (Dixon).

There are way too many old crimes mentioned before even beginning to read any part of what I'd call the story. Chapter 1 a guy kills someone then you don't hear about that again for 60 pages. In between is Star cop-bitch Karen Vail with blood on her from a colleague who died (Lugo last book?). So one guy who died, her boyfriend is missing, a disc is missing, wives and sons kidnapped ad nauseum, Sheriff Stan Owens stepson is dead who by the way started a shed fire as a teenager (WTF do I care?), Dixon's boyfriend is dead too (again, WTF do I care?), a serial killer is in the hospital (like one out of 4) and the bitch orders people around like they're characters in a fiction novel. Even her own boss. Absurd. You got all the last letters of the alphabet in the names; Vail, DiXon, BriX, OWens, too many people to learn, way beyond TOO much past history. They're all cops, killers, victims or a combination.

I don't need to read the last book to read this do I? Some people take their fiction too seriously.

Writing one book and continuing into the next book is a pet peeve. I want the book I read FRESH, not a rehash of last book like it was yesterday (as in this book) cuz I'm tired, dizzy, sick of names before I hit chapter 3.  Innocent bystander picks up a book in the middle of all hell breaking loose. Not sure how much more I can stand.

Right now I'm in the middle. Vail blew Robbie's undercover ID so he could be dead cuz of her. Then she gets on speakerphone to her friend Dixon and tells everyone on her police force about drug cartels and all the private secretive information she just received about her UNDERCOVER boyfriend. What a frickin idiot who just keeps putting other people in danger. Someone shoot her before everyone else dies CUZ of her. I got another book. Library tomorrow....too much crap to digest and not interested enough to wade thru it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

ALTAR of BONES by Philip Carter *****

Really involved novel and I liked it a lot. It's about a generational line of women who inherit a secret "altar" that supposedly contains the fountain of youth. Goes thru a few generations of Russians and the secret altar is in Siberia. There's myth, love, adventure, blood, gore, car chases, murder, guns and the Russian mafia.

Interesting read and it stays in your head while you're reading it. Keeps you guessing, has surprises. If you like to read Dan Brown you'll enjoy this book too, I think.

I want to be the next proofreader tho, found a few errors. Hey -spell check can only do so much.