Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE by Owen Laukkanen ****

Very fast paced novel about a wealthy man who can't afford his lifestyle so he tries out robbing banks. What is sort of a disappointment is that when he does all these banks there are no dye packs involved. Like huh? Everytime?

He has a new secretary, a teenager who has a boyfriend and she somehow knows exactly the people to call for guns, ammo and where drug dealers live and play poker. She's inappropriately hired as his secretary? Why and what skills does she have minus the criminal activities? Funny how she just works for the wealthy guy who is into robbing banks now and she has all the creds of an ex con.

The more the criminal, Carter Tomlin, robs and kills the happier he gets about doing it. With no apparent skills in this department he spontaneously decides to rob an armored car a couple times, no planning or anything. Once in the morning when there probably isn't ANY money in the truck. It's a little preposterous. So I could only give it 4 stars. Mr bad guy gets shot in the gut yet manages to kidnap a BCA's daughter and run around like that in the mall of America shooting his way towards her while bleeding to death. Then at the end he survives, big surprise there. He got shot driving an SUV away with gunfire behind him where he shoved the BCA's daughter who didn't get a scratch on her yet the truck was filled with gunshots from the rear. Another unreal scenario.

I did like the fast pace, some of the characters, I liked FBI Agent Windermere and almost liked Stevens who was the BCA but he was kind of wishy washy. The story, altho full of flaws for me was pretty good reading, just turn off most of your credibility and read away.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The DOLL by Taylor Stevens ****

After chapter one which is loaded with names it becomes the start of a story. It's about a couple people who are well trained with guns etc. and the female Vanessa Michael Monroe gets kidnapped and is threatened by the "Doll man" to deliver Neeva, a movie star,or something similar from one place to another. They are holding her Michael/Monroe's brother for collateral. Why the criminals don't use their own skilled shooting bunch of thugs I have no clue. That really wasn't believable but continuing on. There's a lot of fights, murder, blood and gore. I still don't know why they'd hire a female who is uncontrollable in the long run and they KNOW she's going to hate the assignment and kill his people. So Duh?

I thought it was fast paced enough, the female's boyfriend Bradford has to find the hostages all the time so Michael/Monroe can kill the abductors. During about half the book the protagonist is called Michael (who was made up to look like a guy-again why?) then all of a sudden author decides she's not Michael anymore and begins calling her Monroe. So confusing I had to go back pages and pages to see who the fuck Monroe was.

Apparently this is a character the author writes about again and again there are  more books with her brave antics. It's not an easy book to stop reading because of the fast pace but at other times you want to laugh at the "bad" guy who dresses up his kidnapped females in doll clothes. So this is about human trafficking and more missing kids are hidden away that Michael/Monroe has to free. Etc etc etc.

Not bad reading, not great reading so get it at the library.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

REVIVER by Seth Patrick ****

This was sort of different. Some people, I suppose it's the future, can awaken the recently deceased under certain circumstances and revive them to ask who killed them if murder is suspected. Or someone needs closure in the relationship etc.

There were too many people for me. Just so many names and weird ones at that, "Never" that's a guy's name so sometimes you think the word never starts off a sentence but no...it's the guy.  So Jonah Miller is one of the revivers and he keeps hearing weird background voices when he's reviving someone and he begins to believe there is an evil spirit that wants to exit his dormancy in the "other world" so to speak.

There are several different agencies at work, some people want to control the other world guy, there are theories about who or what it is and some want it not to survive transference permanently into a living body. That would mean the person sacrifices him/herself to the other spirit. There's so many people involved I had a difficult time keeping it all separated. I have to sleep sometime and when I start up the book again--forget it. Confused all over again.

I sort of liked the idea of "revivers" but the evil spirit showing up is the major story and I didn't really care about much of that. I would get it at the library.

Friday, October 18, 2013

ALEX by Pierre Lemaitre ***

Well I read the entire book, finding a lot of passages to skip over. The writer gets carried away with descriptive long boring passages about the character. There is a writing rule: Show don't Tell. He does a lot of telling and it's boring as all hell. Aside from that....

The story was interesting, it had a nice number of murders and they seemed unconnected until the end. There are twists and turns as you continue reading to the end. That part I enjoyed but it could have been done a little quicker without all the boring what someone is thinking about someone else. The main detective is like 4'11" and the writer never lets you forget it. It's in almost every chapter how he's "disabled" due to his height. There's a little Columbo in there, with the short Commandant Camille (female name, but a guy). He walks around and suddenly something occurs to him and bang he solved something about the case.

The killer is very interesting and has a lot of problems. I think the story is ok. It's translsated copy from a French writer who was a literature proff. Still I think he could cut down on the descriptive narratives and make a better tighter story, this is too loose and you lose interest here and there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The LEVIATHAN EFFECT by James Liliefors ***

The first thing I have to get out of the way is how difficult this book is to get into. There are so many people in the beginning along with acronyms and agencies. Every page up to about page 50 you have new people or whatever to learn about and he doesn't take anything you may already know for granted, he explains all details so by the time you get to page 50 you want to stop reading the damn book. But hang in there because if you just skim over the crap you'll finally enter the story.

This is about weather control and it's an interesting concept. So you have the lead characters, I would give them equal weight really, Catherine Blaine and Charles Mallory. They try to find information about what the hell is going on because someone is sort of black mailing the president to stop a hurricane developing in the Atlantic ocean. It's loaded with murder and false leads, and real ones. I didn't mind it after I waded thru the beginning but the acronyms continue throughout the novel and it gets tedious.

If you like a semi-realistic scenario and murder and chasing and solving the crises type of story this one is ok. Not on my top ten list but wasn't bad enough to replace with another book. Fair.

Monday, October 7, 2013

HUMAN REMAINS by Elizabeth Haynes ***

I thought it was a pretty good story but could tell throughout that it was a Brit writer, just the general tone and some words that seemed outdated or used oddly.

So a guy named Colin goes around finding depressed people and talks them into committing suicide (supposedly in the double figures, some still not discovered). He tried it on the main character Annabel and she couldn't remember anything he told her. Not one bloody word. So you have this mysterious way of talking people into committing death but aren't allowed to know how it's done. I think it was implied by hypnosis or coercion but no one ever really tells you much of anything except Colin is innocent of anything (as far as police are concerned) more than chatting up some girls who decide to kill themselves without provocation. Yeah ok sure. How about conspiracy to commit a crime?

The premise of the story was unreal but reading it as a simple story without questioning anything it went along pretty well, you kept wanting to know more, like what the fuck Annabel's job is all about. Who ever even heard of a civilian looking crap up for the PD and being paid? IDK. Sounds idiotic to me, she should either be part of the PD or get a real job.

Anyway those are some of the obstacles you need to leap your faith over and read for the sake of wasting your time reading. I found it absorbing because you kept waiting to see what Colin was doing which you never got an answer so it really was a waste of my time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

INFERNO by Dan Brown *****

This is a typical Langdon run thru the streets to beat a mysterious person trying to tamper with genetics or unleash a genetic disease upon mankind. The brilliant but obsessed with Dante's Inferno guy kills himself about when Langdon wakes up from amnesia in Italy. He has no idea how he got there or why is there. And so the chase begins. In the hospital he's told he was struck by a bullet and watches as his doctor is gunned down in front of him, he's grabbed by a student doctor Sienna and off they go together following clues from the bad guy.

Lots of descriptive passages about Italy the art and statues and each painter, sort of a history lesson from a professor, I kinda skipped over that crap it bored me, esp. since there was so much of it.

A guy on a boat finds out his client is the brilliant "killer" and goes to the world health org. with his findings to ask for help in stopping the ticking time bomb somewhere under Italys water ways so there are cops, the guys from the ship, the WHO all chasing after Langdon hoping he leads them all to an underground passage containing a dangerous substance. 

I won't give anything away but I was sort of rooting for the bad guy once I knew what they were looking for. The book addresses the increasingly dangerous overpopulation to our planet and how it can only sustain perhaps half of everyone on it. Usually nature takes things into it's own hands and a new strain of bacteria or deadly virus wipes out most of the population giving earth a chance to recover and start fresh. I liked the premise of the story and it's one that needs to have more thought by all the countries leaders. Limiting the amount of children people can conceive is a responsible thing to do.

I know someone who is fostering a baby and the mother has given up 3 other children to the adoption process and is pregnant yet again. The dumb shall inherit the earth because the more intelligent people know to limit the size of their family. Very intuitive and good reading.