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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

COP TOWN by Karin Slaughter



This book is vile, racist, anti-women, homophobic, violent, contains foul language and characters of corruption and pure evil. It is also a ripping good story.   The main characters are police women (and men) in 1974 Atlanta, Georgia.  If you remember 1974, you will recognize the casual racism and ethnic slurs that abounded in southern cities of that time. You will also recognize some of the music and businesses from that era.
Kate is a newbie cop. She is also completely out of her comfort zone. She is Jewish, widowed, rich privileged and educated. The women and men she is thrown in with in “cop world” are working class, racist, anti-Jew, hard-bitten, bullying and for the most part trying to do a decent job under awful circumstances.  The writing is sharp, pointed and unflinching.  The plot unfolds fast enough to keep you turning the pages long after you should be safely in bed. 
You will find yourself sympathizing with macho cops who operate just below the level of corruption. You will figure out the bad guy and the plot twists long before Kate does, but that won’t diminish your enjoyment of this thrilling thriller.
5 of 5 stars

Friday, June 20, 2014

SHOTS FIRED by C J Box



SHOTS FIRED  by C J Box

This collection of short stories shows off Cox’s expertise in creating characters.  BLOOD KNOT, a extremely short story, gives us insight into six different characters while delivering a satisfying ending.  

Joe Pickett, a Box character in 14 novels, makes an appearance in several tales including One-Car Bridge, the opening story that delivers a punch of an ending. If you already are familiar with Box you will like these quick reads. If you have never read his stories before, these will have you eager for more. 

You will find humor in PIRATES OF YELLOWSTONE, evil in EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY ON THE RIVER and political incorrectness with a helping of retribution in LE SAUVAGE NOBLE (THE NOBLE SAVAGE).

5 of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SUMMER HOUSE WITH SWIMMING POOL by Herman Koch




I made it through 100 pages of this book before deciding I didn’t like any of the characters and I truly didn’t care if Ralph was murdered or it was just a horrible mistake.  Marc, the doctor who made the mistake or committed the murder, was an especially unlikeable person. He was selfish and narcissistic to the extreme.  Ralph wasn’t much better. They were both lecherous towards the other’s wife within minutes of meeting (apparently not an unusual happening). 

There was supposed to be humor somewhere in this book, but it hadn’t occurred by page 100 (out of 385).  Marc didn’t like camping and I didn’t like Marc so I guess we are even.  

Skip this one.
2 of 5 stars

Saturday, June 14, 2014

RUTH'S JOURNEY: The Story of Mammy from Gone with the Wind by Donald McCaig



RUTH'S JOURNEY: THE STORY OF MAMMY FROM GONE WITH THE WIND       by Donald McCaig

Though the book is related by Ruth (Mammy), the story is really Solange and Miss Ellen’s story.  You might ask “Who is Solange?”  Solange is Scarlett’s grandmother, but you won’t find her in Gone with the Wind. 
Solange is a French heiress who is married off to a second son with prospects in sugar.  She arrives in Haiti to find the sugar plantation in disarray and the second son a poor manager.  Ruth is an orphan that Solange appropriates for herself.  When the Haitian slave revolt becomes a dangerous reality, Solange, her husband and Ruth decamp to Charleston, South Carolina. 
Here Ruth finds love and marriage in Jehu, a free black. Unfortunately Jehu finds Pastor Vesey and his church of slaves.  When Vesey’s plot to overthrow and murder white slave holders is discovered, Ruth’s family is shattered and the story changes location to Savannah. Here  Solange marries for a third time and gives birth to Ellen, Scarlett’s mother.
The last quarter of the book covers Miss Ellen and Gerald O”Hara’s marriage and life at Tara. The book ends with the outbreak of the Civil War.
The book is well written and follows a pre-ordained curve to introduce us to Scarlett and attempt to give us a back story for why Scarlett is who she is. Actual events and people give a feeling of reality to the novel that is a bit too long. Too much of the book deals with Solange and her amorous adventures.  If you are looking for a novel of pre-Civil War manners, you will be happy. If you really want to know Ruth and a slave’s life, this is not the book for you. 
3 of 5 stars

Sunday, June 8, 2014

IRISH EYES by Mary Kay Andrews



IRISH EYES  by Mary Kay Andrews
Callahan Garrity, private eye and cleaning lady, loses a former partner and good friend when he makes a quick stop at a convenience store.  Callahan, even after being warned off, tries to find the bad guys involved.
The writing is tightly plotted, the story line will keep you guessing, the characters are likeable – except of course, for the sleazy ones.  Andrews has another winner in her Garrity series of mysteries.  Her fans will love it and new readers, who need not have read any others in series, will find a new author to seek out. 
4 of 5 stars

DOG GONE, BACK SOON by Nick Trout



DOG GONE, BACK SOON   by Nick Trout
If you like animals and are in need of a good laugh or two, DOG GONE, BACK SOON is just the book for you.  The plot has enough twists to keep you guessing. The characters are likeable and clearly drawn. The animals, especially Stash, are quirky and entertaining.
My one quibble is that I occasionally had to read the dialogue a second time and pay careful attention or I would not know who was speaking – and it makes a difference! A few identifying comments would have been helpful.
The romance is of the hand holding, peck on the cheek variety so those who prefer to avoid hot and heavy sex need not fear nor is there any foul language.  The supporting characters – both human and four legged – are engaging and amusing.
Altogether an enjoyable read for a lazy summer afternoon or in front of a blazing fireplace.
4 of 5 stars