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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Y IS FOR YESTERDAY by Sue Grafton

Y IS FOR YESTERDAY  by Sue Grafton
Grafton reaches back into Kinsey’s past for this thriller so you know she will survive.  Two concurrent plots make up the story line.  Ned, a serial killer who wants Kinsey dead, is one, the other is the 10 year old death of a popular teen whose murder was solved – or was it?  The book bounces from one plot to the other, so for me the momentum was lost.  But I like Grafton’s heroine, so that was okay. 
Grafton shows that although the end of the series and the end of alphabet approach, there are still stories and plots to tell.  She has lost none of her story telling skill and the plots are still intriguing. So for Kinsey fans this one is win, win. 
What will be the “Z” title????? And how will the series conclude? Are the only questions remaining.

5 of 5 stars for longevity and continuing deft plotting

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR by Nancy Werlin

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR  by Nancy Werlin

Five misfit teens at a private school find each other at a “Leaders Meetings”. When one of them dies, the fun begins. Are their parents really trying to kill them all???  Why???  Who can they trust? Who is behind all the mysterious happenings?   Not a lot of character development except for the two characters that narrate, but the premise is intriguing.  The action, after a somewhat slow start, is fast paced and for the most part the plot hangs together well.
 
The author shows a good understanding of teens. The tension builds to a good climax. Altogether a quick, fast, engaging read teens will love and adults will also find interesting.


4 of 5 stars

Saturday, August 19, 2017

THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF NORTHERN FIRES by Daren Wang

THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF NORTHERN FIRES  by Daren Wang
There are at least four stories in this one novel.  Mary  and Joe are the two characters that are the most clearly and realistically drawn.  You may need a “cast of characters” to keep all the individuals, families and alliances straight. Several plots seem a bit far-fetched. Here are  three instances.– Southern Dad admitting after years and on his death bed that two of his slaves are his children and disinheriting the white brother:  a slave girl in a brothel for 4 years just walking away with no residual mental damage: a Northern soldier given the option of just walking away from his unit and commission by his commanding officer.
The story line is intriguing and holds your interest.  The love story is well written and believable. The ending is a bit too “pat” and comes out of nowhere.  The author shows great promise in his writing skill. I look forward to seeing his next tale. My copy is an advance readers’ edition and there are many grammatical and typo errors.

3 of 5 stars

Saturday, August 5, 2017

MAGPIE MURDERS by Anthony Horowitz

MAGPIE MURDERS  by Anthony Horowitz
This book within a book was frustrating at times. It was difficult to know who was the narrator and which “book” you were in.  There is a difference of font, but it is a slight variation and easily missed.  Susan is a bit too “talky.” I wanted her to just get on with it instead of rehashing all of the clues and suspects.  I thought the Atticus book was by far the better plotted and told of the two tales. It just took forever to get to the finish line.
Andreas seemed to be thrown in just so he could be around to “finish the plot.”  Susan didn’t miss him at all when he was gone for 6 weeks. The end, therefore, seemed too pat a finish.
The depiction of the English village and the various inhabitants was spot on.  I didn’t agree with some of the characterizations of other detectives. I rather like Father Brown and don’t find Miss Marple brusque at all.
So….. Magpie Murders by Alan Conway is well written and tightly plotted. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is too long and too fussy.  Bring back Conway and P√ľnd!

4 of 5 stars 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

THE KING OF LIES by John Hart

THE KING OF LIES  by John Hart
A master of tightly plotted and well-crafted mysteries has written another winner. John Hart gives us a lawyer accused of his father’s murder, the DA that USED to be his friend, the wife he has never loved, the woman he does love, the cop who would love to see him hang, and, finally, a homeless man and a PI who may be his only friends. Add in a suicidal sister and her lover and the possibility of millions of dollars in inheritance and you have a first class mystery.
I thought I knew who the murderer was by the end of the second chapter. I was wrong. You will be too. But it doesn’t matter because the book is compelling reading.

5 of 5 stars