Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

False Memory:Dean Koontz

I really enjoyed this book because it was original and made me think. It dealt with the idea that a psychologist can program you to have phobias and to do your bidding when "activated". Martie's childhood friend Susan develops agoraphobia and divorces her husband who she believes has had an affair. Martie drives Susan to her appointments and suddenly develops autophobia and fears she will hurt her husband or herself. Susan confides in her the same day that someone is coming into her house at night and raping her as she is sticky with seaman in the morning, but there is never any trace that someone was there. Susan can't explain why, but she thinks it is her ex-husband. Susan set up a video recorder on night and when she plays it back sees that her psychologist Dr. Ahriman was the rapist, but that she let him into the house after getting a phone call. She remembers nothing of it. Tipped off by her odd behavior the doctor returns to her house and finds the tape playing. He decides to command her to kill herself after having her write a suicide note he dictates. Martie and her husband don't believe Susan killed herself, but Martie starts seeing Ahriman for her condition. Her husband Dusty waits in the waiting room and realizes he has chunks of time that he can't remember. Dusty's brother tries to jump off a building and kill himself and while in the drug rehab starts reciting a haiku while in a trance after Dusty said a name, asking who it was. Dusty then realizes Martie is acting similarly. He by chance puts Martie in the trance and understands what has happened, but not by who- They are able to "un-program" themselves and Dusty's brother. With the help of another Doctor they figure out Dr Ahriman has programed them and many others in other towns. In the end of one of Ahriman's patients who is not programed kills him because he wasn't paying attention to what the info he was feeding her would do because he was wrapped up in trying to get rid of Martie and Dusty before they destroy him.

Forever Odd: Dean Koontz

This was not one of my favorite stories, but I got through it. Odd Thomas's friend, Danny, is kidnapped and he sets out to find him before he is killed. He spends some time in Tunnels which lead him to an abandoned hotel. He finds Danny who tells him he met his kidnapper from calling a 1-800 number. Danny is wired to a bomb evidently so Odd can play MacGyver and figure out how to disarm it. The woman kidnapper was interested in the supernatural and they had talked about Odd Thomas. She insists on meeting Odd so she can talk to the dead. The story was slow and awkward. The interactions between the characters are laughable and I found myself skipping pages. In the end the woman is killed by a...nope not a spirit, but a mountain lion leaving in the tunnels and hotel.

The Serpent's Tale: Ariana Franklin

Adelia is called to the castle of King Henry II's mistress to determine the cause of her death in order to prevent a war because the Queen Eleanor is thought to be the murderer. In this story Adelia has Bishop Rowley's baby "Ali" who she takes with her on the journey. Adelia discovers more to the poisoning of the Mistress in that the murderer is still actively murdering. The arrive to an Abbey in the middle of a storm and find a young boy murdered on the bridge as though the murders want him to be found quickly. The one of the late mistress's servants is killed along with 3 merchant men. The murderer had the boy because he was going to elope with his future bride. The servant was killed because she was about to uncover the murderer for hire, and the 3 men were loose ends who knew what was going on. King Henry's mistress was killed in order to blame the queen and start a war. Only Adelia and Rowley were able to uncover the plot in order to keep war from breaking out. The story wanted to bring the main characters from the first book back, but it was sort of a strained relationship. Rowley is now a bishop and trying to keep the love story between he and Adelia seems out of place and a little akward for the story-he is also believed to be dead for most of the story, but Adelia's lack of emotion makes the reader know he will show back up alive. I did still enjoy the story and the historical facts that were woven in.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Number The Stars: Lois Lowry

I read this story as a child, but didn't remember much of it. This is written for young girls. A little Danish girl, Annemarie, is best friends with a Jewish girl, Ellen Rosen. Annemarie's family is alerted by the Rosen's that they were being rounded up and "relocated". The Gestapo comes that night and forces their way into Annemarie's apartment where Ellen is staying the night. They pass Ellen off as Annemarie's oldest sister, who died. Annemarie's mother takes the girls to her brother who lived and fished on the coast. There Ellen meets up with her parents and they are taken to safety with some others to Sweden, which remained free during the war. I loved the historical aspects of this book and that it gets children interested in such acts of barbarity and heroism in our past.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic:Uma Krishnaswami

A little girl Dini, is back to America after moving to her parent's birthplace of India. She stays with her friend Maddie while a Bollywood movie star has an opening night in DC for a movie that incorporated Dini's life. There are a lot of twists and turns in this children's book where things don't go as planned, but in the end everything comes together. A cute little book for young girls.

Mistress in the Art of Death: Ariana Franklin

This book started out where I would be unsure if I liked it, but ended up being very good. There are a lot of characters to introduce that will eventually come together, which is why it started out slow. The book opens with a party coming back to England from a crusade. The bishop is unable to go to the bathroom and is in agony when Adelia, a woman doctor- unheard of at the time in England aids him. She has to remain under the cover of being a helper to the "DR" who is actually her body guard, but since he is a male, that is the deception. The other deception is that she and her 2 co-travelers have been sent with her to determine who is killing the children in this village. The Jewish population has been blamed and is locked in the castle for their own protection. As the three lead separate inquires, Simon, the Jewish detective in the group, is murdered. The other two are not sure where to go with their inquires. A man Adelia falls in love with is also trying to solve the mystery and is seriously injured. Shortly afterwards the little boy Adelia had showing her around is kidnapped. Adelia ponders something the child had said to her about it being the river that takes the children. She hops on a boat with some nuns taking things up river and finds the lair. An old chalk mining hole. She is then tossed into it by one of the nuns and realizes a man from the crusade and the nun were working together. She saves the boy and confesses her love.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Along came a Spider: James Patterson

Alex Cross is called to investigate a murder in a poor section of town, a black mother and her two children were murdered in their home. Both the mom and the daughter had their breasts removed. Soon after two children of famous parents are abducted from their school. The little boy is found a short while later, dead and physically abused. We see parts of the story from the little girl's eyes (Maggie Rose)as she is shipped to South America and working as a farmer with a large family. At the story unfolds we are introduced to Soneji and his alter ego Gary Murphy, who was a teacher at the children's school and responsible for the kidnapping. Cross goes to Sonjei's home and finds books and news articles about kidnappings and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. Sonjei is obsessed with becoming a famous kidnapper. The police find the coffin he had buried the children in the barn, but it is empty. Assuming that Maggie is also dead the search seems to end once Sonjei is caught and locked up. He had gone back to town to kill a teacher he had worked with at the private school, killing her the same way the two women were killed. Once in prison Sonjei acts like he has a multiple personality disorder and is hoping for an insanity plea. The jury finds him guilty. He then escapes prison and shows up at Cross's house in an attempt to kidnap his children. The plot then thickens when sonjei ends up back in prison and swears he doesn't have the ransom money or know where Maggie is, that he was being followed. Cross's new girlfriend Jezze, who was head of the secret service and 2 other secret service agents finished the kidnapping by collecting the ransom money and abducting the girl sending her to South America. Throughout the story I feel for Nana-momma- who not only raised her own children, but her grandson and now her great grandchildren. Alex doesn't seem to appreciate what this woman does. I was also confused on why Jezze didn't just "find" the girl instead of being an accomplice. She may have gotten away with stealing the ransom money. My personal opinioin was that the book would have been better had the girlfriend not been forced on the reader, the love story took away from the face pace of the "who done it".

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Black Box: Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is a detective in LA and is called to a murder during a riot in 1992. The white woman gets the name "Snow white" and is found out to be a Danish photo journalist writing about war crimes. 20 years after the murder Bosch is asked to solve some of the murders during the riot because a police chief is running for senator and wants to look good. He gets a lead on this single murder by finding the gun used. The gun was also used for other murders spanning the past 20+ years. Following the trail created by both the articles the journalist had written during that time and the gun trail Bosch realizes the police chief was the man who killed the journalist, who his buddies had raped when they were fighting in the Persian Gulf. He was trying to cover up their crimes and then ends up killing the remaining "buddies". Bosch narrowly misses being shot and Drummer, the police chief ends up running his helicopter into a wind turbine when making his get away. He becomes paralyzed from the accident.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Brother Odd: Dean Koontz

This was a book about superhuman powers and how you can never escape them. Brother Odd,supposed to be name Todd, but there was a mistake on his birth certificate, can see the harbingers of death. He has been a guest in an Abbey for a few months when suddenly these creatures appear around the children. He and another brother "knuckles", who was in the witness protection program, set out to stop whatever catastrophe is about to occur. The creatures they find confuse them and appear to be made of bone. After destroying one of them it slowly shrinks and disappears. In the end they find out one of the brothers at the Abbey, who is also a patron, had been a renown physicist who experimented with reality. This brother, John, had a handicapped son who was being cared for at the abbey and who he had shunned his who life. Brother odd finds out John has figured out how to play God. God could create life by thought and so can John. John's subconscious was creating creatures who looked like they were made of bone, which had already killed two monks and were going to kill all of the "imperfect" children.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Scarpetta: Patricia Cornwell

This book had a lot going on. Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner who is brought to a hospital to interview a "little" person suspected of murdering his girlfriend. The evidence collected shows that the man is paranoid and not tall enough to have strangled his girlfriend in the manner she was murdered. There are underlying sexual tones thoughout the book between Scarpetta's niece and another agent, Berger, as well as tones of guilt between Scarpetta and her old partner Marino who had tried to sexually assult her in the last book. In the end they find out, after another person (who wrote for the same newspaper "Gotham Gotcha" as the deceased girlfriend) is murdered, that the policeman in charge of the investigation was the murderer. He was involved with the girlfriend and had met her when he worked at the dermatologist she visited.