Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Roses are Red: James Patterson

This book was part of the Alex Cross series. His daughter is in the hospital for a portion of the book getting a brain tumor removed. He and his new "baby's momma" decide to spend time apart. Another woman shows up for his tough patch, a fellow FBI agent becomes his new love interest. It seems like if the women aren't family members they have to be with either the villain or the love interest and sometimes both. Anyway, he figures out the "Mastermind" behind the bank robbery's /killing sprees is someone in the insane asylum. At the end of the book we find out when Alex does not that Kyle Craig, the head of the FBI and Alex's friend, is the mastermind behind the terror in town.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

LIfeguard: James Patterson

This was a book in the "Ned Kelly" series. Ned, who is characterized as a bit of a loser loses 4 friends and a girlfriend when a robbery attempt goes sour. Ned and his buddies were slipped a tip about some expensive art and went to steal it. Only someone beat them to the loot. Before he gets back to the meet up place his friends are all murdered. His girlfriend is a supposedly unrelated spree is killed in a hotel. He lives on the run while trying to piece together what happened. In the end the man who was "robbed" from had sold the paintings because his wife had set up the theft to get even with him, the man was also evidently sleeping with a prostitute, Ned's girlfriend, which is why she was killed.

Jack and Jill: James Patternson

This was another book in the "Alex Cross" series where a bunch of murders take place that don't seem to make sense or tie together. Jack and Jill is evidently the code name for the president and first lady as they live on "the hill" Alex figures out that there were 2 unrelated murders, a young boy who is on medication and stops taking it. The boy goes on a murdering spree and conveniently? murders the husband of a woman Alex was hot for (I know, he can't keep it in his pants for one book). The other murders were done by professionals in the secret service who were trying to murder the president. The suspense builds and you learn the duo doing the murders were actually a married couple with children thinking they were cleansing the US. It was a typical novel in the series...that I got from a friend and am trying to get through.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Takedown Twenty: Janet Evanovich

This was another funny story in the Stephanie Plum series, while searching for a fugitive Lula and Stephanie spot a giraffe running down the road. A man is then accidently shot with a dart meant for the giraffe and the man dies. The giraffe sporadically shows up in the book, both Lula and Ranger become enchanted with it. Stephanie is supposed to bring in "Sunny" Morielli's uncle who was videoed killing a man by a kid, who later put the video on you tube. There is also a murderer in town who is killing senior citizens and throwing them in dumpsters. Stephanie thinks there might me a connection to bingo, since the women all played. While trying to apprehend sunny she is thrown off the bridge by the elderly mob and saved by Ranger. She temporarily takes a job as a butcher until she unintentionally sets the owners house on fire. In the end everything pointed back to Sunny. He was murdering the women as a "Sex" game, he had the giraffe for a " big game hunting restaurant" he was building in the middle of town, the giraffe was stolen. While this is going on Stephanie was also trying to apprehend a young thug. She accidently shot his ear off and then the thug's girlfriend mistook them for other lovers when they tried to nab him a second time. The girlfriend shot his foot. At the end of the book Lula and Stephanie find him at the basketball court looking pathetic. After deciding that it would be too sad to nab him now that he couldn't put up a fight, they decide to bring him in. I found this book funnier than the others and really enjoyed it.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Man in the High Castle: Philip Dick

This was a sci-fi book dealing with the alternate outcome of WWII where Germany and Japan win and divide the US between themselves. The Germans control the east coast, the Japanese control the west coast and there is a "neutral buffer zone" in the Rocky Mountains. The main characters are; Julianna, who lives in Canon City Colorado in the neutral zone as a Judo teacher, her husband Frank who moved to San Francisco and starts making jewelry. (he thought, as a Jew, he could hide in the Japanese controlled zone because they weren't exterminating like Germany.) The other main character is Baynes, a Swedish industrialist who pokes fun of the German sector. Julianna becomes obsessed with the book "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" written by a man in the buffer zone of Cheyenne about if the US had won the war and what life would be like (still different than today's world)The book is banned in the German sector. Julianna meets an Italian truck driver who convinces her to go see the author with him, on the way she realizes he is an undercover German sent to kill the author, she kills him and then meets up with the author to tell him he is in trouble. The author reveals that the book was written over time by using the I CHING, which is a Chinese Divination text. The reader is left to decide if the book was written by chance, or if a book wrote a book about what was actually the truth that the US did win the war. Baynes is identified as a German deserter and is sent back to Germany to what he believes will be his death. Frank was arrested for being Jewish, but then is released when his old boss Childan buys a piece of his jewelry and tries finding meaning in it. I felt this could have been a really good book, but it fell a bit short. It was still interesting and one is left wondering if they are supposed to find any meaning in the book. It is as ambiguous as "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy".

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The House of Small Shadows: Adam Nevill

This was one of those books that was hard to put down. I was convinced there were going to be Taxidermy children, the children missing from the special school... The story opens with a woman, Catherine, who has had a troubled past and a recent miscarriage. She is working as an appraiser for an antique house and is beckoned to an old run down home called the "Red House", the home of a popular deceased taxidermist, Mason. The house is a treasure trove of antiques, but something isn't right about it. The descendant, Edith, who is in charge of the house is very old fashioned and odd. She tells Catherine she is going to have to come back with just her essentials and spend a few nights there in order to catalogue everything. One her way out, the house keeper, who is mute, slips her a piece of paper on which is written "Don't ever come back" Catherine discusses the note with her boss and decides to go back since this opportunity is too good to miss. Back at the house she realizes Mason was obsessed with taxidermy and believes he stole misfit children from a home for special children before she was born. She also believes they took her best friend, a handicapped girl, from her school when she was little. The first night she stays she hears little footfalls throughout the house at night, but never sees anything. She is soon drugged and kept at the house against her will because Edith insists she stay for the celebration in town. Catherine had already wandered to town and it was deserted. She tries to leave that night and the roads are blocked so she can't get out, in town people are very creepy and seem to be either children or very old hunched over people. Her ex-boyfriend Mike shows up to get her out of there, despite his constant objections that something wasn't right there, Catherine goes into the church to get the car keys instead of just stealing into the night with Mike. When she turns back he is gone. After the "celebration"? She goes back to the red house and finds Tara and Mike killed and being pickled in brine. She breaks down, but can't get out of the house. The House comes alive and with music leads her to the attic to show her that Edith was not alive the entire time, there is just a skin of her folded in a trunk. She is shown a bunch of visions and lays down while small creatures do something with her face. When she wakes the house is boarded up and in shatters, she looks in a piece of broken glass and has become Edith, the shell of her skin lays on the bed by her. Hearing a car she looks out the window and sees her boss drive up with a leather mask. He "unstuffs" the housekeeper, who she then realizes was her mother. Upon further inspection of the house that she is now locked into she finds her ex-boyfriends new girlfriend, Tara, who has had her eyes taken out and replaced with glass eyes. She knows she is now the new caregiver of the house and Tara is now the new housekeeper and seems fine with this fate.

Kiss The Girls: James Patterson

This was another murder mystery in the Alex Cross Series. His niece Naomi is kidnapped off campus and it is suspected that the killer who calls himself "CASANOVA" is the culprit. Alex holds on to hold that she is still alive while he tries to figure out the identity of the man. When he tires of the women he kills them for Alex and the FBI to find. Through Naomi and another kidnapped girl Kate's eyes we learn Casanova has an underground lair (was part of the underground railroad) where he keeps his girls locked up. He choses only the most spectacular women to be a part of his harem and Kate is strong and smart enough to escape. She jumps an embankment near the lair into the river and is found down stream by some boys out fishing. Since Casanova always wore a mask she can't identify him. The FBI finds out through Newspaper interviews and the death of a reporter that Casanova has a cohort "The Gentleman caller" who is killing women on the West Coast while he operates on the East Coast. Alex Cross eventually kills "The Gentleman Caller" and determines that Casanova must be a cop. He sets a trap and finds out Casanova was the detective on the case from the beginning.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Private: James Patterson

This was the first of a new series for Patterson with the detective Jack Morgan. As with the James Bond series, Jack Morgan is a ladies man who solves crime outside of the "rules". I am not sure why the "heroes" always have to have a love interest and a love scene in every episode- where is there time for that in reality? Anyway- Jack is hired by both his Uncle, who own a major league team and suspects the refs are being paid off to rig the game. Jack finds out the pay off is being financed by the Mob. He also investigates into his friend's wife's murder. By the end he finds out the friend paid to have his wife killed because she was a drug addict and still prostituting. Jack also set out to find out who was luring school age girls to locations where they were killed. This was a sick game by computer nerds who wanted to show how their moves in the game could be used in real life by targeting and killing younger girls. The book was nice in that there were 3 jobs being worked at the same time and it built the suspense as well as was entertaining x 3.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined By Stephenie Meyer

In this book as a "tenth anniversary special" of the release of "Twilight", the story deals with gender reversal. Bell becomes "Beau" and Edward becomes "Edythe" I don't feel this swap works- Beau kept me thinking "what a Sally" he talks about feelings and needs rescuing constantly. He plays house with his dad and has Edythe dive him around and pay for meals. He faints at the sight of blood. I was curious on why everyone in the book changed gender EXCEPT Bella's, (now Beau's) parents. The father still lives in Forks. Surprisingly the book, though I care less for the characters than in the original "Twilight", draws you in because you remember how the original book made you feel. I guess by the end I had mixed feelings. Sure Momma black likes to watch the game and her daughter likes to work on cars, but those characteristics just seem to make Beau look even less manly. I would recommend the book because I think I understand what the author was trying to do. Bella wasn't just a "damsel in distress" any mortal would be weak and helpless when compared to a vampire. With that in mind, I wouldn't read this one again, but it did get me pumped up to reread the original, so it does keep one interested in the series!

Tricky Twenty-Two: Janet Evanovich.

This was another slap stick read where Stephanie spends time between both Ranger and Morelli because Morelli breaks up with her claiming he needs a change of life. He has been suffering from heartburn and is looking for a new Job. While trying to catch a college campus murder/terrorist Stephanie is also trying to dodge 3 stalkers whom her grandmother has "cat fished" by giving them Stephanie's photo. Stephanie is eventually kidnapped by a disgruntled college professor who was trying to make a flea bomb to spread disease. The professor neglected to ensure the mice used actually had the plague. In the end Morelli comes back from a doctor appointment finding out he was having an allergic reaction to certain foods and they get back together.

Killing Patton: Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

This was an interesting story in that it started out with Patton's suspicious death and the reader was wondering what the book could possibly be about now that Patton was already dead. The bulk of the story was a nice overview of everything one learned in history class about WWII, setting the mood for the end of the war. The last chapter(s)spoke of the missing accident report from Patton's attempted murder and how he was getting better, then mysteriously died. It also spoke of one man's persistence that the accident was more than an accident, though his reports were never really taken seriously. This was one of those books that are very interesting when you think it might be a dry read and its conclusion makes you want to do some research of your own.