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Sunday, July 30, 2017

REDEMPTION ROAD by John Hart

REDEMPTION ROAD  by John Hart
WOW. John Hart really knows how to write an engrossing, heart pounding, well plotted mystery…… and he can do it with a minimum of sex, blood and vulgar language.  A disgraced cop, a damaged cop, a terrified girl and a bereft child all come together in this tale of violence and corruption. Greed and power fuel the bad guys. You will have to read the book to discover what motivates the good guys. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Who, or what, is redeemed?

5 of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY by Adriana Trigiani

THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY  by Adriana Trigiani
Way too much navel gazing for me this time around.  I usually enjoy Trigiani’s books, this one just seemed to spend too much time on Valentine’s inner thoughts and self-recriminations. 
You do find out why she chose the title three fourth of the way through the book. A new factory in the US already has a name and she keeps it – kind of clever but not enough to rescue this book.

2 of 5 stars

Saturday, July 22, 2017

RUNAWAY JURY by John Grisham

RUNAWAY JURY   by John Grisham
Not his best!
I usually really like Grisham’s work. This one was boring (too much detail) for the first half.  The second half, when the plot began to be revealed, was better but still not up to his usual interesting plot and characters.  You never really get to know Marlee or Nickolas so you don’t care about them.  You do get to know some of the other jury members, but not enough to care.  You know Rankin, but he is eminently unlikeable.
Maybe I just read this one after it was out of date. Maybe I was just not in the mood, but this was just not very interesting.  Sorry, John.

2 stars out of 5

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD  by Caroline Leavitt
Lucy, 16 and naive, runs away with her High School teacher.  Their life together in an isolated, and isolating, rural area is not what Lucy expected. 
Lucy is portrayed sympathetically. The reader gets to know her intimately through her thoughts and actions. William, the teacher, is not so well known. His back story is presented in back flashes.  His life with Lucy is seen only through her eyes.  Lucy’s sister, a minor but very important character, never gives up searching for her sister.
The reader is constantly aware that “this will not end well”, but the actual ending is dramatic and terrifying.  You will remember this book for a long time.

5 of 5 stars

WHEN THE ENGLISH FALL by David Williams

WHEN THE ENGLISH FALL   by David Williams
This not your usual “end of the world” book.  It is a LOT better!  An Amish community is well prepared when a solar storm knocks out all machinery worldwide.  But the English (anyone not Amish) begin to run out of food and their money becomes worthless, civil society breaks down.  The Amish are called to help. When they do, their closed community is affected as never before.
Written entirely from the viewpoint of Jacob, an Amish farmer who lives near several large cities, the book explores the challenges and fears of a community that wants to avoid “the English” and their worldly ways.  Written with sympathy for both groups and displaying an intimate knowledge of the Amish, the book is a look into the future of a disaster. The one quibble with the book is a weak ending.

4 of 5 stars

TWO NIGHTS by Kathy Reichs

TWO NIGHTS  by Kathy Reichs
Reichs drops Temperance Brennan for a new protagonist, or perhaps two.  Sunday Night, a damaged woman who is former cop, former military, is fleeing her past.  Then she is offered the chance to redeem herself and perhaps heal herself by finding a child kidnapped (or killed) during a terrorist attack.  Darker than the Brennan books, Sunday is a compelling personality. You may find yourself reading just to discover Sunnie’s deepest secrets. Still, the mystery is worthy of Reichs’ considerable talent in plotting and characterization.
At the end of the book there are still questions to uncover leading one to anticipate a second (and third) outing for this detective.

5 of 5 stars

THE LAST CHILD by John Hart

THE LAST CHILD  by John Hart
A compelling read of loss, anger, fear, and murder.  Johnny is just a child, but he is a child searching for his kidnapped twin sister and aided by a detective possessed of the same relentless need to find Alyssa.  Then another young girl goes missing.
The characters are clearly drawn, especially the giant of a child man. The setting is detailed and atmospheric. There are red herrings in plenty, but the plot is tightly controlled and moves along at a ever increasing pace. 
5 of 5 stars