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Black Widow: Forever Red
Margaret Stohl
Progress: 25 %
Don't Breathe a Word: A Novel
Jennifer McMahon
Progress: 51 %
SPOILER ALERT!
Kisscut - Karin Slaughter

I'm not sure where to begin.  I don't want to say I liked the story, because it's horrifying and it's like walking out of the movies having seen "The Silence of the Lambs" and saying "Wow what a great movie."

 

Here's the thing.  I was engaged but there were things that bothered me about this story and part of the things that bother me are carryovers from the first book.   In the first there were some pretty big issues left outstanding regarding Jeffrey and his police force.  Frankly, I assumed that there would have been some mention, even in passing regarding the resolution of that.  Nope, it's like it never happened.  The good thing, you could pretty much read this book as a standalone and the only thing you would miss is some of Lena's back story.

 

My other issue is that the main characters (Sara, Jeffrey, and Lena) are so flawed that as a reader I want to climb into the story and smack them.  That being said, I find Sara the most likeable but it really bothers me that the author hasn't found a way for Sara and Lena to connect positively.  They don't have to be friends but I find the animosity tiresome. 

 

Then there is Jeffrey who has his moments when he's a good guy, but mostly he's self centered and self absorbed.  Then as if that wasn't bad enough he has some sexist and degrading thought about Sara and you just want to punch him in the face. Twice.

 

 

Speaking of Jeffrey, seriously, how can Sara and he get back together?????  Unless book 3 in the series involves Sara murdering Jeffrey.

(show spoiler)

 

 

This one just didn't work for me

Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 1 - Andy Belanger, Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery

I liked the premise of this more than I actually liked the story itself.  By the time I got 2/3 the was thru the story I was well and truly tired of all the Shakespearean language.  Now I can't fault the writers for that.  The title is called "Kill Shakespeare" but after a brief while it's just irksome.  I also found the changes from one story line or plot to the next disjointed and difficult to follow.  Hamlet keeps being pulled or dropped into other character's story lines and I found myself struggling with associating characters with their original play. Frankly, I'm too old and it's been 30+ years since I've read any of his plays.  Needless to say, I admit to just giving up at the 75% mark.  I no longer cared if Hamlet managed to find and kill Shakespeare.

Despite Some Graphic Details - A Good Read

Blindsighted - Karin Slaughter

I would give this 3 1/2 stars because I was immediately engaged in the story. I found the main character Sara interesting and figured out fairly quickly the common factor between the current victims and Sara's history. That being said I was desperately hoping that the perpetrator was not someone tied to Sara
Lena is a difficult character for me, I find her interesting but the chip on her shoulder is massive and frankly it's a little annoying the rate at which she can screw up solely based on the fact that she can't seem to pull her head out of her ass. I also feel like I missed a crucial piece of information regarding why Lena obviously dislikes Sara.
Jeffery, the Chief of Police, thus far there is nothing about this guy that I like. He needs a swift kick in the head.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. Although "enjoyed" seems an odd descriptor considering the amount of mayhem and graphic violence that is described. If you are easily made squeamish this may not be the book for you as the author seems to delight in providing graphic details related to the rapes that occurred either during the rape or having conjecture provided during the autopsies.

Bad Cop Becomes a Good Sherrif - Beach Read Worthy

Renegade - Nann Dunn, Cheyne Curry

I admit it, I somehow decided to read this book without fully comprehending the whole "time travel" aspect. Needless to say when Detective Trace Sheridan escapes the mob by landing in the 1800's I was surprised at the "twist".  Don't get me wrong, I was not disturbed by what was an unexpected to me twist, but pretty clearly described in the book blurb.   I managed to bleep right past it because the story got better, more engaging, from that point forward.  I really enjoyed this story and especially enjoyed some of the early interactions between Trace and Rachel Young. 

Technically I picked this book up to start reading it mid May but never got past the 1st sentence until yesterday.  Then I got sucked in and couldn't put it down.  This was a fun, easy beach kind of read.

Reading progress update: I've read 77%.

Renegade - Nann Dunn, Cheyne Curry

Reading progress update: I've read 59%.

The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.

The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly

Reading progress update: I've read 25%.

The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly

Temporarily Abandoned

Invasion of Privacy: A Novel - Christopher Reich

I've abandoned this story.  The premise interests me, but I just can't wrap my head around it at this time.  Who knows I may come back to it later

Meh

Night Mare - Franci McMahon

Night Mare by Fanci McMahon

This story revolves around a horse theft/insurance fraud ring and I was really looking forward to a new kind of criminal mystery  and I was not familiar with this author.  Now, I can say that I liked the book because it was "OK" and I managed to finish the story without feeling the need to abandon it.  However, if I'm honest part of the reason I was able to finish the story was because I was hoping I was completely wrong about who the bad guys were and that there just HAD to be some plot twist because the "heroine"  couldn't possibly be so blind.  Yeah, no.  Blind, blind, blind.  Three Blind Mice Blind.

Beyond that, here's what I personally found troubling.  Early on in the story there is mention of Jane Scott being a Quaker and it's pretty strongly implied that this is a key element of her character.  Here's my problem.  The author implies that this is important, or maybe I infer it.  Either way, there really are no details provided as to

1) Why it's important or

2) What the heck a Quaker is except they are not to be confused with the Amish and

3) What does being a Quaker bring to the story? 

Seriously, I haven't in clue, except it made me feel like I was missing some vital piece of information about Jane.  So much so that I double checked to make sure that there wasn't a book prior to this one.  There wasn't.  Then there was the sort of romance thrown in between Jane and Miles.  I was ok with that too, but then the end of the story left me both puzzled and unsatisfied.  I felt like I was left hanging and not in the good way where I think "Oh God I hope there is another book so I can find out what's going to happen next."  For me the characters were developed just enough so I could finish the book and go, ok that was nice but I don't have any desire to find out what happens next in any of the characters lives.

Audible

No Good Deed - M.P. McDonald

This was another audible version that I listened to and although I enjoyed the audible, in part because the narrator was good, I suspect that if I had been reading the e-book version I would have abandoned the book itself.  The gist of the story is that Mark Taylor gets premonitions and he tries to stop what he sees from happening.  Unfortunately, he had a premonition about 9/11 and tried to stop that.  Which of course caught the eye of the CIA.  One thing leads to another and he's declared an enemy combatant.  Here's why I couldn't have read this book.  The majority of the story is dealing with Mark being isolated in prison and his being tortured for information he doesn't have.

 

This will sound weird, but if I had to read about the tedium of his isolation and the constant state of worry he was in about what was coming next I'd have wanted to poke myself in the eye.  On the other hand, listening to the narrator tell the story while I was doing my gardening was an acceptable way the pass the time.  I would even consider listening to the next one in the series, but I wouldn't read it.

A Dark Lure - Loreth Anne White

I ended up listening to the audible version of this instead of reading it.  This is definitely a psychological thriller.  Sarah Baker (Olivia) is the sole survivor of the Watt Lake Killer and although you don't witness what happened to her, you certainly see the aftermath.  It's not pretty. 

 

The premise is that Sarah changed her name and is kind of in hiding having started her life over again after the killer died in prison.  Except pretty early on, you discover maybe the killer isn't really dead.  There are also a number of twists in turns that make you wonder if it's a copy cat, is the killer really still alive and you're trying to figure out the motive for stalking Sarah.

 

I will say that there is a scene late in the story that was reminiscent of the time I watched "The Shining" and the scene where Jack and his wife are on the stairs and she hits him with a bat.  I was screaming "Hit Him Again Damn It HIT HIM AGAIN."  It was pretty satisfying to be riding my bike yelling "Stab Him Again."

Reading progress update: I've read 48%.

Abomination - Gary Whitta

Reading progress update: I've listened 350 out of 418 minutes.

A Dark Lure - Loreth Anne White

Another Enjoyable Read by Lynn Galli

Clichéd Love: A Satirical Romance - Lynn Galli

I admit it, I'm a sucker for Lynn Galli books so when I got an email that this one had been released I immediately bought it.  I like her books.  I like her easy style of writing.  I tend to like the main characters.  I also enjoy the fact that characters from prior stories tend to pop up in current ones.  When they do they are in a supporting role and don't detract or distract from the main story, but it's fun to catch a glimpse of characters I've enjoyed and liked.

 

In this particular story the three main characters are Iris, Vega, and Lane.  Vega is a free lance journalist who is writing about how couples met and fell in love.  Oh, and she's pretty cynical and I could completely relate to her mental snark as some of the women talked about their love stories.   

 

My favorite line in the book was "Adorable did not fit a thirty-something woman who looked like she'd been around the block so many times she couldn't remember which house was hers anymore."  I'm fairly certain the people on the plane thought I was insane as I was laughing to myself.

 

It's during these love story interviews where a number of past characters show up. They provide some color and a backdrop to the main story and I was reminded of their quirks and in some instances how annoying they could be as in "if I was friends with them I would have smacked them".

 

Once again I was not disappointed with the final product.  This is an easy, enjoyable read with interesting and likeable characters.  My only complaint, which is the same every time I read one of Lynn Galli's books: Now I have the urge to go back and re-read some of my favorites of hers and I have so many other "To Read" on my list, but I know I'll be re-reading "Finally" and "Life Rewired" again.  This means I'll also probably re-read "Mending Defects"

The Secret History of Wonder Woman - Jill Lepore

If you are a fan of the Wonder Woman comic and want to get a brief idea of the creator then this might be an interesting although somewhat superficial read.

 

Ultimately, this is really a short biography of William Marston and his feminist ideals.  I was hoping for a more in depth understanding of the actual creation of the Wonder Woman series and Marston's polyamorous relationship with his wife and Margaret Stanger.  What was provided was fascinating but 46% of the book s footnotes, and you really need to read the footnotes to get more detail.  So ultimately, I was left a little disappointed.