Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain Gods - James Lee Burke

Rain Gods takes place in Texas after Hurricane Katrina has pushed some of the vice from New Orleans out to the lone star state. It starts with a mass murder and ends with a major shoot-out. In between you have lots of characters; an old sheriff who believes in the what's right, a veteran of the Iraq war who's not all the way back yet, and The Preacher who has a .45 caliber tommy gun and is not afraid to use it. They're all doing their best to catch killers, kill the catchers, and avoid being killed themselves. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beneath - Jeremy Robinson

Beneath is only the second Robinson novel I've read. Both books start out in the arctic, but Beneath ends up about as far away from the frozen north as you can get. When an asteroid is found in the arctic that provides clear evidence of life on Europa, Global Exploratory Corporation mounts an expedition to explore Jupiter's moon and see what's hidden beneath it's frozen surface. This is a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Frankly you're going to have to really be able to suspend your disbelief for this story. If you can do that it's one heck of an adventure and worth the read. Europa holds some very interesting surprises. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Firefly - P. T. Deutermann

The Firefly is an amazing novel. In this book things are never what they seem. Retired secret service agent Swamp Morgan finds himself investigating a plot to carry out what could be the biggest terrorist attack in history and nobody will believe him. Fast paced and full of twists, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Very highly recommended.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Split Image - Robert B. Parker

Split Image is another Jesse Stone novel. Almost surely the last, since Robert Parker passed away at his desk on January 18th, 2010. He will be missed by many. I always enjoy his books. This one is no exception.

Split Image has Jesse working to solve two murders in the town of Paradise MA, and working with Sunny on what turns out to be than a kidnapping plus. Throw in two mobster wives known as the "bang bang twins" and it gets very interesting. You don't have to read the first eight novels in the Jesse Stone series to enjoy this book, but it would help. And they're all worth reading. Highly recommended.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Silver - Steven Savile

Silver is a novel surrounding the 30 pieces of silver Judas got for betraying Jesus. The author puts an interesting spin on the 2000 year old story and ties it in with some interesting action in the present. Silver is sort of a spy novel with terrorists and ancient religion thrown in. The author likens Silver to The Da Vinci Code in his notes. The Da Vinci Code kept you almost believing it could be true right up to the end and the story was logically consistent. Silver never made me believe for a minute that the basis for the story could be true and was disjointed rather than consistent. I enjoyed the book, but it's not in the same class with The Da Vinci Code, in spite of what the author thinks. Recommended.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

Grave Peril is another Dresden Files novel. This time it's ghosts who are stirring up trouble and vampires who are stirring up the ghosts. Not a good combination for Dresden and his buddy Michael. To complicate things Dresden's god-mother is after him whenever he crosses over into the nevernever and his girl friend Susan is expecting the 'L' word to make an appearance any time now. Unfortunately, Susan will find she has more important things to worry about. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Perfect Swarm - Len Fisher

The Perfect Swarm is a book about complexity theory and how it pertains to groups. It gets a little dry in places but it's an enjoyable exploration of what modern scientists are learning about groups and how they operate. There are some surprisingly useful conclusions and copious notes at the end. It's good to stretch the old brain once in a while. My only complaint is that Fisher obviously buys into the the pseudo science of man-made global warming and some other liberal myths that really don't belong in this book. That undermines his credibility at times. Still I enjoyed the book. Recommended.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New York - Edward Rutherfurd

New York is a historical novel centered on New York city. This is the first Rutherfurd book I've read. Maybe when I'm retired and have more time to kill I'll read another. This story began with Dutch settlers in 1664, when what is now New York was the outpost of New Amsterdam. It follows the history of the Masters family, as you see New York and the United States grow into their current size and shape.

My dilemma is the book was too long. However I want the glaring holes filled in. Maybe I don't have a New York centric view but a novel covering history from the 17th to the 21st century should include something of substance on WWII. Glossed over would be an understatement. Maybe the problem is the span of history covered was too great. At first I was reminded of all the James