Jul 29, 2014

Private Games (Other Private Offices) by James Patterson

Private Games (Other Private Offices)Private Games by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Peter Knight (head of Private London) is horrified when his Mother's fiancee Sir Denton is murdered due to his involvement in the 2012 Olympic Games, by the mad man Cronus and his Furies. Vowing to find the killer he is at his wits end when the Nanny to his twins (whose Mother died giving them birth) departs without notice. It seems like a godsend when a young student arrives in the park where he has taken his children to play handing out fliers looking for work babysitting. After checking her glowing references his hires her on the spot.

Even though security is tightened at The Games, athletes, coaches and Olympic Organizers continue to die throughout The Games, Cronus seems to always be one step ahead. Fingerprints on an envelope finally link The Furies to 3 sisters wanted for war crimes. Then one of the original suspects is found walking around in a drugged state covered in excrement close to an abandoned factory, where police find two of The Furies dead. Cronus doesn't deal with mistakes well. But Cronus plays his trump card the remaining Fury is the new Nanny to Knight's children.

Knight is frantic when his children are kidnapped but a visit to his Mother gives him renewed hope. The gifts she gave the children had GPS tracking devices implanted in them. Before he can call for back up he learns his phone is bugged, and may have a tracking device implanted in it. He leaves his cell phone with the cabbie instructing him to take the phone to Hooligan and tell him the kids whereabouts are on the phone. He is able to ascertain the apartment the kids are being held in and goes to the apartment next door to use the phone and gain access to the balcony. When Lancer (former head of Olympic Security) opens the door Knight is surprised but comes to the conclusion that Cronus used the proximity of the apartments to hack Lancer's computer and the security systems for the games. Leaving Lancer to call for back up he goes to rescue his children to late he realizes his mistake.

Leaving The Fury to take care of Knight and the children Lancer goes to finish his mission. But a last minute reprieve enables Knight to bring Lancer down before he implements his plan to snuff out the Olympics for good.

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Jul 26, 2014

Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4)

Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, #4)Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book, I can't wait for the second book in the trilogy (The Bone Tree) to come out April 2015. I have read all Greg Iles' books so I was very familiar with all the "good" characters and even some of the bad ones as they have featured in prior novels, which I think added to my enjoyment, and certainly helped with keeping all the characters straight.

Dr. Tom Cage is accused of killing his former nurse and lover Viola Turner, by her son Lincoln Turner. Lincoln also claims Tom is his Father. Tom goes on the run with his friend and former Texas Ranger, Walt Garrity. They plan to kidnap a member of the Double Eagles Sonny Thornfield but things go wrong from the get go. First since the Double Eagles are observing radio and phone silence in fear they are being wiretapped Forest Knox sent one of his deputies by to give Sonny a message. Seeing that Sonny is gone but his vehicle isn't he uses the GPS in Sonny's phone to track him and finds Walt and Tom with him. When the deputy shoots Tom, Walt kills him. Sonny has a heart-attack and Tom insist on taking him to the ER, before Tom & Walt hide at Drew's lake house. Drew and Nurse Melba come to treat Tom, and Melba stays with them after Drew leaves to provide medical assistance to Tom. Walt leaves to meet Griffith Mackiever Colonel of the Louisiana State Police, and Forrest Knox's (Frank Knox's son and head of the Double Eagles) boss. Tom sends Melba home as her life is in danger as long as she is with him. He walks out to the lake where two assassins approach him. Tom kills one and has the other carry the body.

Henry Sexton (reporter) has been trying to solve the murders of Albert Norris (his former African American girlfriend Swan's Father), Pooky Wilson, Jimmy Revels (Viola's brother) and Luther Davis for decades. When Viola returns to town (dying of cancer) Henry is thrilled at the opportunity to interview her. He leaves a camcorder with her and it captures her final moments. Someone has taken the tape, but Henry finds the external flash drive still there.Henry shares the info with Shadrach Johnson "Shad" (Natchez DA) out of a sense of duty, who is thrilled at the chance to destroy Dr. Tom Cage. With the help of Sheriff Billy Byrd the incriminating picture Mayor Penn Cage has of Shad watching a dog being tortured is neutralized. Henry Sexton firmly on the Cage's side made a copy of the flash drive and shares it with Penn. He also shares all the information his has accumulated about the "Civil Rights Era" murders and his theory that Brody Royal was the master mind behind them. Henry ask Penn not to share his information with his fiancee Caitlin Masters, who is a rival reporter. But when the story starts to break Henry agrees to go to work for Caitlin, in order to reach a larger audience.

Henry is attacked and the newspaper office he was working for was burned to the ground. Supposedly all his records were destroyed in the fire. But he kept copies in a safety deposit box at the Royal Bank and gives the keys to Caitlin,so she can finish the story. Caitlin puts a story together and interviews Katy Royal. Caitlin gets a recording of Katy stating that her Father Brody Royal was responsible for all the murders. Before Caitlin can question her further Katy passes out from a drug overdose and her husband Randall Regan shows up. Caitlin is barely able to escape from him. When Caitlin tells Penn about the recording he wants to use it to blackmail Brody Royal into making his Father's legal troubles go away. Caitlin goes to talk to Henry and a sniper takes a shot at him. Due to Caitlin's quick response pulling the bed out of the way Henry is OK, but his current girlfriend Sherry is killed by the sniper. Penn goes to talk to Brody Royal and Caitlin goes back to the newspaper determined to tell the entire story in spite of what Penn wants.

FBI Agent John Kaiser and his wife Jordan Glass (famous war photographer) are in town to drain the Jericho Hole after a diver Penn hired found Luther Davis' body, chained to his car's steering wheel.

Brody Royal hired goons to kidnap Caitlin and Penn. They take them to Brody Royal's Lake House where he plans to torture them until they reveal the identity of the informant known only as Huggy Bear in Henry's notes. Huggy Bear is the last person who can place Brody Royal at the murders since Brody had Randall Reagan kill Katy (Brody's daughter, Reagan's wife) to keep her from talking. Henry goes to confront Brody Royal and finds Sleepy Johnson (Huggy Bear) outside. He saw Caitlin and Penn brought to the house and Henry determines to save them. While they are trying to come up with a plan a security guard catches them, he destroys Sleepy Johnson's phone, before Johnson is able to kill him. With no way to call for help they go in to rescue Caitlin and Penn alone. Caitlin and Penn are chained up and Brody is fixing to burn Caitlin when Johnson and Henry arrive. Johnson is shot but Henry places himself between Caitlin and Brody and walks to Brody immolating them both. Penn manages to kill a distracted Regan. Johnson is barely alive when Penn carries him outside and Penn and Caitlin watch him die before help can reach them, as Royal's house goes up in flames.

Lot's of unanswered questions and plenty of suspense. We can only hope Tom's health will hold up while he is on the run and that he can evade the bad guys long enough to be extracted from his legal woes.

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*Notes and Questions
I wonder if Jimmy Revels  is alive based on the question the FBI asked Dr. Leland Robb about someone surviving being flayed alive, and Brody's telling Caitlin and Penn that Snake attempted to flay Jimmy but didn't have the right kind of knife.  We also know that Sonny felt bad about what he was suppose to do and that Jimmy's last words were "I forgive you". Did Sonny leave him alive at The Bone Tree? or did he follow orders and kill him leaving his body at The Bone Tree?

What power did Tom have that allowed Viola to go free and escape to the North? What did Tom give up? What is his connection to Brody Royal?

I don't think Lincoln Turner is Tom Cage's son. It is more likely Viola's pregnancy was the result of being gang raped twice. Brody Royal could possibly be Lincoln Turner's Father, as he admitted taking a turn with Viola.

Who is the traitor inside Caitlin's newspaper? What did they have to gain by locking Caitlin out of the building and throwing her purse out? And why would they give up all Henry's files?

The Bone Tree (Penn Cage #5)

Two Great Summer Finds #Neutrogena

The first is Sport Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70+ I loved it, it is a little heavier then my normal moisturizer but it didn't cause any breakouts and best of all my nose hasn't gotten sun burnt. I wear this  alone around the house and under foundation, when I go somewhere.

Me with just BB cream on
The next is Visibly Even® BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Thanks to the stupid TSA rules regarding liquids it soon became apparent I wasn't going to be able to take both a moisturizer and my foundation on my trip to San Diego. Since I knew we were going to be outdoors a lot I really wanted something with a high SPF. I had heard about the BB creams and when I saw the SPF I decided to give it a try. This is the only thing I wore the entire trip with some eye shadow and lipstick and I was very pleased with the results. I have started wearing just the BB cream when I am going out unless it is somewhere special and then I use my foundation which does provide a bit more coverage then the BB cream.

Jul 20, 2014

Field of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #24)Field of Prey by John Sandford

Field of Prey (Lucas Davenport, #24)Field of Prey by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two teenagers parking smell a really bad smell at the old deserted homestead, they are parking at. The boy tells a police officer friend the next day and the two go out to the homestead and discover the first body in the cistern. More bodies are soon discovered and the BCA is called in.

Bob Shaffer (who Lucas views as a clerk) is put in charge of the investigation, when he gets a possible lead instead of calling it in he tries to follow it on his own and winds up dead. Lucas is desperate to figure out what Bob found that lead to his being killed. Lucas is working closely with Catrin Mattsson on the case, but they aren't getting anywhere. A child insist that she saw Sprick (the mailman) walking in a ditch close to where Shaffer's body was found, but he has an alibi and Lucas is sure he isn't the killer. When the girl starts making things up in order to garner media attention her credibility is shot. Lucas takes Elle to interview the only known survivor of the "Black Hole Killer" and they discover that he had an accomplice. Meanwhile the O'Neill family is killed and the "Black Hole Killer" starts calling Catrin

When Del is shot in Texas apprehending the senior citizen gun runners/drug smugglers, he was staking out, Lucas immediately flies to Texas, to be with his friend. Catrin receives another phone call from the "Black Hole Killer" she calls Lucas to trace the call but since he is in Texas he doesn't answer. The Killer claims he has left another body at the "Black Hole", she alerts the police department and heads out her door when she is attacked by the Killer, and he takes her to his basement.  Lucas rushes back and puts the pieces together in time to rescue Catrin.

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Jul 16, 2014

The Kiss by James Patterson (Witch & Wizard #4)

The Kiss (Witch & Wizard)The Kiss by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the mysterious Heath shows up Wisty falls for hm in a BIG way. When they start combing their magic the power sends Wisty out of control, and leads to an argument with Whit.

Whit leaves with his friends to go rescue the children kidnapped by the Mountain King. Sasha falls to the Mountain Men's arrows and Whit lacks the power to heal him. Eventually they are captured but the mysterious Izbella intercedes she wants Whit to heal her nephew, the Mountain King's grandson. Whit saves the boy's life but the Mountain King has Whit, Ross and Janine feed to "his pets". Again Izbella intercedes to free them, but when they are overtaken by the Mountain Men and the snow leopards only Wisty and Heath's timely arrival save Janine and Whit. But Wisty learns a shocking thing about Heath, not only is Izbella his Mother, but his Father was the notorious "The One".

Meanwhile back in the city things have gotten much worse. Bloom has taken over the council and has imprisoned all practitioners of magic (including Whit & Wisty's parents) in a ghetto with a force field around it that prevents them from using magic. Whit and Wisty soon find themselves imprisoned, and discover their old nemesis Pearce is alive and serving as Bloom's right hand man.

Bloom has the practitioners of magic chained up and sent to the front lines of the battlefield when he confronts the King of the Mountain. The King of the Mountain uses mind control to take over Bloom and his "army". Wisty tries to use mind control to stop him but alone she isn't strong enough so she combines her powers with Heath. At first everything is going just as Wisty wants it. Bloom's army is freed from their chains and the King of the Mountain's army (the kidnapped children) is freed from the mind control he keeps them under. But then Heath takes over and tries to use mind control to have the "armies" kill the King of the Mountain. When Wisty stops him the King of the Mountain starts taunting Heath and Heath melts his face off revealing to Wisty that he is really Pearce. Wisty and Whit combine their powers to stop him but spare his life when his Mother, Izbella, pleads for it.

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Jul 14, 2014

Private L.A. (Jack Morgan, #3) by James Patterson

Private L.A. (Jack Morgan, #3)Private L.A. by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fast paced thriller. Jack and Justine are off again, Tommy is still making trouble for his brother and with Carmine's help threatens to rig Tommy's murder trial to implicate Jack, unless Jack sells Private to them. Jack bluffs his way out.

Jack is hired to find Thom and Jennifer Harlow and their adopted children after the Hollywood celebrities mysteriously disappear from their ranch. The children are returned unharmed, and Private is fired after Jack starts digging into the couples finances. But Jack uncovers the dirty secret the couple is hiding and travels to Mexico to rescue them anyway. He then insist that the charity they funneled funds from be given a large share of the profits from their latest movie, that Miguel's Mother have access to her son and various other stipulation for his silence over the laws they broke.

When No Prisoners starts randomly killing people Jack is hired to track down the killers who officially do not exist. A spy that Jack and Del Rio knew in Afghanistan is able to shed light on their identity and the killers are tracked down and eliminated.

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Jul 12, 2014

The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1)

The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1)The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She had such a very sad life. Born to Isabella of Castile, who was Queen of Castile in her own right and lead troops into war as well as financed her husband's crusades Catalina was used to the idea of a woman as a strong ruler. Thus she was incapable of understanding Henry's despair over not having a son to inherit the throne, as she viewed their daughter Mary as a viable heir.

Betrothed to the Prince of Wales since babyhood Catalina was brought up to be Queen of England, when Arthur dies shortly after their "marriage" she pins her hopes on a marriage to his younger brother Harry. But Henry the VII wants her for himself and after Elizabeth of York's death he proposes marriage to her. A marriage that offers her no advantage as her children would never sit on the throne and she would be forced to live in her Mother-in-law's shadow.Her refusal enrages Henry VII and he determines that she will never marry anyone. He betroths her to Harry so she is not free to seek another marriage, but plots to marry Harry to Princess Eleanor (the daughter of King Philip and Queen Juana, Catalina's sister). When Henry VII dies Harry chooses to honor his betrothal to Catalina and they are married.

Henry VIII has little interest in actually ruling his Kingdom and leaves all the work to Katherine of Aragon. While Henry is away in France, Katherine rules as regent and leads a great battle against the Scots. But when they fail to have a son who lives past infancy he turns to Ann Boleyn for a solution.

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Jul 6, 2014

Charming Grace

Charming GraceCharming Grace by Deborah Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply CHARMING!!!!

Deborah Smith brings a rich array of characters to life and weaves romance and happy every afters amidst comic back drops.

When movie star turned director Stone Senterra arrives in Dahlonega, Georgia to make the movie of GBI Agent Harp Vance's life and death Grace is determined to stop him, but then she falls hard for Stone's ex-con bodyguard.

Boone Noleene is determined to hang on to his job with Stone so his brother Armand will have a job when he gets out of prison. After their Mother died Armand did his best to take care of the younger Boone, and for years all they had was each other, Boone is determined to take care of Armand now. But falling for Grace could cost him his job with Stone. And then there is the job offer from Roarke, to design and build houses with him. Giving Boone a chance to fulfill his lifelong dream of being an architect.

When Grace finally succeeds in sabotaging the movie Stone fires Boone "for good" (Stone is constantly firing Boone and then hiring him back with a raise). Boone takes off for New Orleans after finding out that Armand was released earlier then planned and disappeared. Once he gets there he discovers that Armand has been kidnapped by some nasty characters who think Armand stole money from them while in prison. Boone's attempt to save Armand merely gets him kidnapped too and when Grace arrives they all wind up sharing a cell but then Stone arrives in a helicopter with long lost Dad and rescues Boone, Armand and Grace. A media circus ensues as the Noleene/Senterra family is reunited.

Stone talks with Grace about making an honest depiction of Harp's life and the resulting movie "Hero" wins an Oscar for Best Picture.

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Jul 4, 2014

Born To Die

Born To DieBorn To Die by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dr. Acacia "Kacey" Lambert discovers she is the product of an affair her Mother had with a wealthy Doctor (Gerald Johnson), she also learns that her biological Father donated sperm and that his "daughters" are being killed off in suspicious "accidents".

Romantically involved with Trace O'Halleran the ex-husband of one of the "daughters" Kacey is determined to survive after she is targeted by the killer.

Alvarez and Pescoli are hot on the madman's trail but before they can apprehend Cameron Johnson he shows up at Trace's home. When Trace's son (Eli) goes missing Kacey is frantic to find him and is easy prey for her attacker. But when she awakens she is determined to save Trace and find Eli.

Minutes before Cameron fatally shoots Trace, Kacey kills him. Eli is found with a neighboring couple. The Mother (Leanna) who abandoned him showed up and took him to safety before coming back to kill Cameron, unfortunately Cameron gunned her down.

Cameron's death leaves Alvarez and Pescoli with more questions then answers. I see a sequel in the future.

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Jul 1, 2014

Private: #1 Suspect

Private:  #1 Suspect (Jack Morgan, #2)Private: #1 Suspect by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jack's a dog,but a very sorry dog is he.

Jack returns home from a business trip to find his ex-girlfriend Colleen dead in his bed. And the police think Jack did it. Jack has to prove that he is indeed being framed by his identical twin brother. But even that isn't going to get him out of hot water with his current girlfriend Justine. Turns out Jack meet Colleen for "LUNCH" before he left on his business trip.

Meanwhile the other investigators at Private are trying to discover who is killing men on business trips in swanky hotels and keep movie idol Danny Whitman from going to jail first for supposedly sleeping with underage girls and then for supposedly killing his co-star Piper Winnick.

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