Sunday, January 31, 2010

U is for Undertow - Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow is the latest Kinsey Millhone detective mystery. Reading a new Grafton novel is like putting on an old sweater that you've worn to the comfort zone. You can't anticipate the twists and turns she gives to the plot. You can't see the end until you've traveled the length of the tale. You can look forward to some old friends and a story that will keep you reading late into the night. This time Grafton provides Kinsey with a cold case murder/kidnapping and some interesting revelations about family past and present. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frostbitten - Kelley Armstrong

Frostbitten is a story that follows the North American werewolf pack. Elena and Clay, alpha in training and enforcer respectively, are off to Alaska to chase down a mutt when they run into some big trouble. There are more mutts than they thought and some old legends come to life and complicate things. The story keeps you turning pages way into the night. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cravings - Laurell K. Hamilton, MaryJanice Davidson, Eileen Wilks, Rebecca York

Cravings is a collection of four stories by Hamilton, Davidson, Wilks, and York. Hamilton's offering is pretty much female angst and soft porn with a little surprise at the end. I really liked Hamilton's early stuff but it's clear she's obsessed with sex at this point. I have to read her books because she hooked me on her characters while she was still writing about vampire, weres, and fairies with a real story included. I have to know what's happening to Anita and Meredith.

The other three stories are much better. Davidson's typical tongue in cheek vampire tale is great. Wilks presents the reader with a succubus who has a mystery man to save, and York writes of a werewolf in search of revenge who finds much more. All three tales are well worth the read. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Devil's Punchbowl - Greg Iles

The Devil's Punchbowl is the third book in Iles' series featuring Penn Cage and the town of Natchez Mississippi. This book was like an extension of the first two. Each story almost stole you away from the real world with the need to find out what's happening next. I finally finished The Devil's Punchbowl after 3:00 this morning. This time the villain is more diabolical and the danger is more intense. Vicious dogs, gambling, torture, rape, and murder keep you reeling right up to the end. Start with The Quite Game and read the whole series. Very highly recommended.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Turning Angel - Greg Iles

Turning Angel is the sequel to Quiet Game. Iles wrote three books in a series that tie together, and I liked Quiet Game so much I decided to read them in order. Turning Angel is just as much a barn burner as Quite Game. Same good guys, some different bad guys, and a totally different kind of trouble. Natchez may seem like a sleepy Mississippi River town, but that is a thin veneer indeed. This time Penn seems to have bitten off more than he can chew, or maybe his friend Drew stuffed it down his throat. Either way he's going to have to handle it and how he does is a story I could hardly put down. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quiet Game - Greg Iles

Quiet Game has everything you could want in a mystery thriller. It pulls you in and won't let you go until the last page. Murder, blackmail, politics, sex, and an author who weaves them into an amazing story. It's rare when a book is so good, so engaging, that I page back through and reread sections just to get the emotional punch they provide. This is one of those books. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Breach - Patrick Lee

The Breach keeps surprising you every step of the way. The end almost gave me a brain cramp from the twist it took. There's plenty of action, a little romance, and some amazing things to discover. How do you disarm a nuclear device? How do you become invisible? How do you send yourself a message from the future? It's all in there. Patrick Lee is going on my "authors to watch" list. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

MAX - James Patterson

MAX is the fifth in the Maximum Ride series. The earlier books were less preachy about the environment and I liked them better. This is still a good book and I have to keep reading the series now. I'm hooked! This time around romance blooms in multiple places and the flock experience some new evolutionary changes. Max's Mom is kidnapped and the flock has to partner with the navy to get her back. There is almost more swimming than flying. And it's clear there will be a book six. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

The Strain is not just another vampire book. It's the first in a trilogy of stories that shred the glamorous seductive image vampires have enjoyed lately and turns them back into evil ugly enemies of humanity. Doctors from the CDC, a pest control professional, and an old man who's devoted his life to fighting vampires band together to fight the epidemic — the virus that is vampire. They may be humanities last hope. The action is constant and the characters engaging. The war is on and it's not clear who or what is going to win. Very highly recommended.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Under the Dome - Stephen King

Under the Dome is classic King. You have to read this one. Of course we're in Maine, and just down the road from Castle Rock in the little town of Chester's Mill. I'm not going to spoil any of King's surprises, but when an invisible dome cuts Chester's Mill off from the rest of the world you know there's going to be some trouble brewing. It turns out Chester's Mill had plenty of trouble before the dome and now things are really going to heat up. King has one endearing quality that most other authors don't — he's not afraid to kill 'em all and let God sort it out. Read this one and find out how it ends. You won't be disappointed. Very highly recommended.