Monday, July 29, 2013

IMMORTAL by Dean Crawford ***

I'm being generous with the third star. This has a cast of hundreds and CIA, FBI, DIA, blah blah. So Saffron is an activist fighting with grampaw over a company wanting to bump off the general population and let a few bazillionaires live forever from a fountain of youth discovered by some cowboys during the Civil War in the AZ desert 1862 or something. The fountain is made from bat shit and moss etc growing in a Carlsbad Cavern pool.

This is a complicated twisty spy vs spy thoroughly confusing story. I would put it down, the page I was on would get lost and I'd pick it up someplace in the general area and keep reading. I could easily edit 60 pages out of this monster. Lots of boring stuff (explanations of things) and/or repetition.

You have the hero Ethan Warner (almost always called "ETHAN") his work partner Nicola Lopez (almost always called "LOPEZ") and they're on the case from Alaska to Santa Fe to wherever to figure out who's trying to kill who and why. Where are the civil war guys living almost 200 yrs and how? That's their mission.

Why the fuck does the YET AGAIN BRIT WRITER use one guys' first name throughout the novel and everyone else's last name? Sometimes he calls him Warner and I can't figure out who the fuck that is, or he calls Lopez by her first name Nicola and again I'm confused. Just give me a fricking black marker and I'll KISS. Geez. What a nightmare of places, names, acronyms and fighting. Not a big fan. Best I can say is at least no one drank any frickin tea.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

POPPET by Mo Hayder ***

I gotta say this one was mildly interesting but when you're done reading it you end up with a lot of questions instead of answers. Poppets are some voodoo dolls by the way. Some idiot in the mental ward makes them. Yup.

It takes place mostly at a mental institution so you gotta know everyone's a flake even the staff and of course one of them is a weirded out killer, I won't give you a hint but a dog is poisoned, stupid ass killer.

Meantime  you travel between a cop Cafferty dealing with some diver named Flea who is protecting her brother or so it seems, she was going to tell him more stuff to solve other stuff but that never came to fruition. Which is noted and hated. THANKS for nothing.

Then the ending is left for you to figure out; the girl meets up with the guy and is she the one in the woods all the time or was Issac? What the hell is she doing meeting up with him hiding out in some freakin tree in the middle of the woods? So many questions so little answers. So I can't give it a really great recommendation. I would say if you don't mind being led around by your nose ring go ahead and read it, most of it is interesting/weird and you keep wanting to know more then you get the no answer part.

Naturally this is a Brit writer. Tally ho. They always make everything so confusing and strange. I wonder why that is?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The FIRE WITNESS by Lars Kepler *****

Very nicely written thriller. The novel has the lead character Joona Linna as an investigator under some kind of review supposedly unable to be a cop but he does anyway. Some little girl and an older woman are murdered at a rehab for teenagers facility. I'm not sure what the equivalent between whatever Sweden has to what we have so you'll just have to put up with my interpretation. Foreign writers. bah.

So apparently sometimes orphans are adopted, if their parents don't want them or adoptive parents don't off they go to some sort of rehab for whatever supposedly ails them. I'm not sure all of them have emotional trauma but in this story most of them do. There are a lot of people in and out of their lives. Joona has quite a hard time trying to piece together this mystery of murders and keeps getting called by some lunatic woman with ghost stories and in the end she sort of solves the crime for Loona. Of course, as in every novel, the real police write off the one not supposed to be working and write off the case as well calling it murder by a child when Loona is getting info contradicting that diagnosis of the murder.

Eventually thru the mazes and puzzles and ups and downs (it's a long book) you get a satisfactory ending. I liked it, very involved and you had to stay on your toes for the details but it was well written and keeps you spell bound for most of the story.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

MAD RIVER by John Sandford *****'

Another very good, well written novel from Sandford. It has Virgil Flowers the cop in it and there are lots of killings going on, he's chasing the bad people-a couple killer kids mostly- all over the MN area.

Some guy wanted his wife killed so he could have the money, hired the teens, they began killing people for like cokes etc in stores and running all over hiding. One gives himself up claiming he didn't do anything and was a hostage. Find out more about that and read the book.

On page 373 was a very forceful truth because I did animal control for years and had a file an inch thick of other people telling me how a breeder was torturing or killing dogs yet I'd go there and see nothing. In the book Davenport says to Virgil how come we haven't arrested so & so yet. And Virgil says no proof. That's so deep in my heart. If I had proof of what this person had done she wouldn't be allowed to own a dog. 

So good reading and I liked the storyline. Has a Bonnie and Clyde theme to it. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

EXTINCTION by Mark Alpert ****

This novel gets you at the start because it's about stuff that can really take place in the future of mechanical limbs and computer intelligence. So naturally some people have enhanced body parts, a blind female has robotic eyes that can enlarge stuff from very far away. She's in love with the protagonist Jim Pierce who is having trouble with his daughter Layla, a computer hacker.

Some of this is sort of like the real life guy leaking secret material to the newspapers (Layla) and takes place mostly in China. The new computer developed a brain and wants to eliminate humans who are ruining the planet. No duh.

The things that trouble me are these flies that are made to sting and paralyze. Where are they being made? Who is doing that? How are they making thousands at a time? No explanation plus the computer keeps doing brain work on everyone important with very little effort and no explanations how that occurs. I would prefer knowing.

Another irritating bit is that "everyone connected to the computer has the same skills". Well that may be true in the authors mind but let me say if people don't work out the same, and not in shape to carry AK47s or hold one for a length of time they sure as shit aren't going to hit anything. Skeptic here. Page 203 says Module 51 has expertise of real physical soldiers, without ever having done the muscle mass work, working out, running, none of the quickness. These modules would fall on their asses against trained CIA agents. Do not tell me they are comparable. Lies. Don't believe any of it.

That's why you only see 4 stars altho most of it is very compelling and interesting. I liked it hard to put down but some parts are just overboard, I like my material to be coherent and mostly as real as possible even if dealing with abstract ideas.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A KILLER IN THE WIND by Andrew Klavan *****

I really was into reading this one, it was a burning page turner. Hard to put down or fall asleep when I desperately wanted to finish reading it.

It's about a cop named Dan Champion who doesn't realize he has a past he's blocked out. He has a girlfriend but has a preoccupation with another female but he's not sure why.
I can't say too much about the novel because that would be giving away a lot and you want to read this to get the most out of the tension and edge of the seat stuff.

Suffice it to say, there are murders, pursuers, killers, fires, trashed apartments. Two lost and almost forgotten orphans find each other in their adult lives and all hell is breaking loose around them. Very suspenseful and original. Liked it enough to recommend buying it if so incliined. Very good reading.

Friday, July 5, 2013

SEVERE CLEAR by Stuart Woods ****

This probably should have been read by me before the other book I reviewed but it doesn't really matter much. Stone Barrington always has someone to screw, there is a lot of that going around. Mostly beautiful people, rich, arrogant and ambitious.

So Stone is opening a new hotel in his dead wife's memory called the Arrington and the president, his wife and the president of Mexico are having a meeting there to sign something or other. In the meantime bombs are being built and delivered by terrorists, some of which are related. These guys get jobs in the hotel or rooms and a trunk is delivered before the hotel security is warned about potential bomb threats so they never see that one.

So the story moved along quite well, not a nail biter but basic good story with one actual personality. A girl who wants to play piano probably had the most personality of anyone else in the book. The rest are like the author positioning bodies for things to happen to or for them to solve stuff. I still have no idea what anyone looks like.

Do any of the plastique bombs go off and destroy millions of people and some wealthy land owners in Bel-Air or is Hollywood safe from disaster? I thought it was ok, but I think Woods does too much gratuitous sex, too little of people personalities and a lot of shifting scenes. I would like to know who Stone likes, why, what's so appealing blahblah, same for the other people. No real motivation that I can see. If I saw it at a yard sale or the library I'd pick it up.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

COLLATERAL DAMAGE by Stuart Woods ****

I sort of liked the book, it wasn't a thrilling page turner and the characters are somewhat similar personality-wise not very well rounded out TO ME. But the action and premise were interesting, a terrorist female, Jasmine Shazaz is running around wreaking havoc in cities by setting off bombs and no one can find her. Once they spot her no one can catch her.

So Holly Barker and her lover Stone are on the case with their other cop friends, all mostly likable and similar. I'm not sure what anyone at all looks like I don't think any descriptions were put out there except for the luxurious surroundings of the famous restaurants they ate at and the accommodations where they slept. Very well depicted but not the people, the things.

Mostly a chase and bombs going off, Jasmine hiding with her allies and people getting killed by shooting or bombs. No one is really described or their lives explained leaving you to think of them all as little barbie dolls put there for a sole purpose of being blown away.

I thought it had potential to be much better. More personality for the people involved, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, desires. It seemed more like a story skeleton than a completed novel. That's JMO.