Nov 23, 2014

Extraction (Pendergast, #12.5)

Extraction (Pendergast, #12.5)Extraction by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This extremely short story is about Diogenes and Aloisius' childhood in New Orleans. As the older brother Aloisius is appalled that Diogenes believes in the New Orleans version of the tooth fairy. In an attempt to teach his brother a lesson he hides in the yard of the "Tooth Fairy's" run down mansion and retrieves the tooth Diogenes leaves behind. At first he plans to place the tooth under Diogenes pillow, but then becomes disgusted with the entire affair and throws the tooth down a storm drain.

Diogenes becomes distraught when Aloisius tells him what he has done and shortly after that disappears. Their Uncle Everett who was babysitting the children while their parents are out of town goes to look for Diogenes. He comes back with a badly scared Diogenes who locks himself in his room, Everett writes a letter to Linnaeus (the children's Father) and disappears after leaving the housekeeper in charge of the children. When Linnaeus returns he and Aloisius go to the Tooth Fairy's mansion and break in, they discover the walls are covered with teeth but the Dufour Mansion is eerily empty, and Everett is never seen again.

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Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)

Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)Deadline by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite in the Flowers series. Virgil gets a dog!!!!!

Johnson Johnson calls Virgil to ask for help, his friend's dogs have been dognapped and a lot of other people in Trippton are missing dogs too. They have an idea who is stealing the dogs (the man is on posters inside the Humane Society warning about his adopting dogs for medical laboratories) and they can hear the dogs close to where the man lives but nobody can find them. The man lives in an isolated area where outsiders aren't welcomed. Virgil and Johnson Johnson do some exploring, meet a young boy named Muddy who spends his days exploring the woods, and Virgil and Johnson Johnson stumble on a meth lab. Virgil calls the DEA and is instructed to discontinue looking for the dogs until the Meth Lab can be busted.

(OK this really made me mad. If this was human kids instead of fur kids that were kidnapped would the authorities say they had to wait for the Meth Lab to be busted? I think not, really sickening how little authorities will do if your pet dog or cat is kidnapped Virgil isn't even "officially" investigating the dognapping)

While they are waiting for the Meth Lab to be busted Virgil starts investigating the murder of a reporter (Clancy) who worked for the local paper. He finds out that Clancy uncovered a scheme by the local school board to steal millions from the school system. When Clancy took the story to the owner of the paper, the owner went to the school board and sold Clancy out for a cut of the money, and the school board voted to kill Clancy. When Virgil starts getting close other people are killed to cover up the embezzlement scheme and murder. As usual Virgil uses "civilians" in his investigation, one of which is the janitor Will Bacon. Will plants a camera in the auditorium where the school board meets, before he can give the camera to Virgil he is killed and the camera is taken. Virgil sets up a scheme to capture the killer by making him think Will hid the camera chip for him to find, but to his surprise discovers that Will really did hide the chip for him to find and he has all the evidence he needs to bust the school board.

The Meth Lab is eventually busted and with Muddy's help Virgil and Johnson Johnson find some of the dogs hidden in a cave. The dogs are reunited with their owners but many dogs are still missing, including the dogs of Johnson Johnson's friend. The dog people find out where a "dog sale" is going to be held and Virgil arranges to be there to arrest D. Wayne Sharf. Things get a little out of hand when Johnson Johnson arranges for a TV crew, The Minnesota Women's Anti-Vivisection League, numerous dog lovers and the Buchanan County Humane Society to show up. The dog stealer's are attacked, the dogs are freed and the Humane Society legally takes charge of the distressed and stolen dogs and reunites them with their owners. One of the dogs attaches himself to Virgil and appears not to have an owner so after protesting that "he really can't have a dog" Virgil winds up with the dog.

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Nov 17, 2014

Robogenesis (Robopocalypse, #2)

Robogenesis (Robopocalypse, #2)Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The New War ended with Archos R-14's death, but everything isn't as it seems. Archos never saw himself as our enemy but as our savior and he still lives, and he is still trying to help mankind survive.

Lark Iron Cloud died in Robopocalypse when he was attacked by a parasite. But after Archos' death he was able to wrest control of the parasite. He attempts to rejoin Grey Horse Army but as a parasite he is unwelcome. In fact Grey Horse Army lead by Hank Cotton (who is controlled by Arayt Shah) decides to purge everyone from their ranks who isn't a Native Osage, and make war on the modified, the surviving parasites, and the Freeborn. Lark Iron Cloud finds a home with the Freeborn.

Mathilda Perez (the modified girl who helped destroy Archos) with her "normal" brother, Nolan attempts to escape from New York City where the modified are being hunted by The Tribe lead by Felix (who is also controlled by Arayt Shah). They are betrayed by Thomas Scissorhands (who cut off his hand to hide the fact he is a modified). Nolan is captured by the Tribe and he believes that Mathilda is trapped in a burning building. Mathilda escapes and tries to find her brother who has been forced into Felix's army as a slave soldier, who must kill or die. Mathilda joins up with Nine Oh Two and rescues modified Gracie and her Mother. Gracie is able to tell Mathilda where Nolan is at and with Nine Oh Two's help Mathilda rescues Nolan and Sherman.

Cormac Wallace and Cherrah are attempting to make it back to Grey Horse when they are ambushed thanks to the timely arrival of Houdini (controlled by Archos) they survive. Cormac and Cherrah discover things have changed at Grey Horse once they arrive and even though Cherrah is pregnant and close to her due date they flee to join the refuges who are headed to the Freeborn City. Unfortunately the Freeborn plan to flee instead of staying and making a stand with the humans against the Tribe and Grey Horse Army who are attacking them. Nomura and Mikiko make a sacrifice in order to save the Freeborn and the Humans.

I am assuming there will be another book as this one ends with Archos and Arayt Shah fighting in the bowls of a destroyed Freeborn City.

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Nov 11, 2014

Personal (Jack Reacher #19)

Personal (Jack Reacher, #19)Personal by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love em and leave em Reacher has no love interest in this book, which I found rather disappointing.

When a sniper takes a shot at the President of France in Paris the intelligence community comes to the conclusion that only 4 snipers were capable of the shot. The Israelis quickly ascertain their man had an alibi so the Russians, British and Americans each send an investigator. The Americans (meaning General Tom O'Day) choose Reacher for the job. Reacher is sent to Paris, where things go South when the Russian investigator who is standing next to him on the balcony is killed by the sniper. Reacher realizes the bullet was meant for him and only a timely gust of wind saved his life. The hunt is on for Kott and his partner, because Reacher also realizes that there is no way one man acting alone could have taken out the President of France.

Teamed up with Zoloft popping rookie Casey Nice he goes to London where Bennett (the British investigator) offers his aid. As the puzzle pieces fall in place Reacher realizes the President of France was never the target and the only one the sniper is gunning for is him. Determined to take out Kott and anyone who gets in his way Reacher does the unexpected and lives to confront the man who mastermind the elaborate scheme to raise his own falling star, and as Reacher tells him "He Never forgives and Never forgets"

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Nov 6, 2014

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)Winter of the World by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascism is on the rise ................

Lloyd Williams goes to Spain (Spanish Civil War) to fight Fascism. He and his cousin Dave Williams (Billy's son) endure great hardship under the leadership of a Russian Commander. When they are ordered to attack a Fascist stronghold without sufficient ammunition the Commander executes Dave for disobeying orders, because Lloyd is wounded his life is spared and he slowly makes his way back to England with a heavy heart.

Daisy (Lev Peshkov's daughter) craves acceptance into Buffalo high society. She is crushed when Charlie Farquharson jilts her at a society ball due to her Father's actions. She flees to England where she meets and marries Boy Fitzherbert (Fitz's son with Princess Bea), Viscount of Aberowen. But the marriage is an unhappy one and Daisy falls in love with Lloyd Williams (Fitz's son with Ethel Leckwith). Lloyd is sent to France (WWII) to help hold off the German invasion. He is presumed dead when his name doesn't show up on any Prisoner of War list, but he actually managed to escape from his captors and walk across the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain and the British Consulate there. Daisy winds up driving ambulances in London during the blitz and is on hand to greet Lloyd when he gets home. They become lovers but Boy refuses to grant her a divorce even after they reveal that Lloyd is his half-brother. Lloyd goes to work with British intelligence and returns to France to aid the French Resistance. When Boy's aircraft goes down Lloyd pulls Boy from the wreckage and Boy dies in his arms. At the end of the war Lloyd returns to England and marries Daisy and goes to work in the Government.

Woody Dewar (Gus & Rosa's eldest son) and his fiance Joanne Rouzrokh are in Hawaii visiting his brother Chuck when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Joanne dies in the attack.

Greg Peshkov (Lev's son) works on the Manhattan Project, as part of Army Intelligence. Greg also fathered a son (Georgy) with the black girl (Jacky Jakes) Lev hired to lie about Dave Rouzrokh (Joanne's Father).

Walter von Ulrich and Maude are appalled when the Nazis take control of Germany. When their maid's retarded son Kurt is murdered by the Nazis' Walter tries to uncover the truth and is brutally beaten by the Nazis and dies as a result, his daughter Carla is determined to uncover the truth and works with her best friend Frieda Franck whose retarded brother Axel was also murdered to uncover the truth. They eventually get proof and take it to a Catholic Priest who uses his pulpit to denounce the murder of the retarded, sick and elderly the Nazis are engaged in. Carla is disappointed that Werner Franck (Frieda's brother and her boyfriend) will not help them and they break up. What she doesn't know is that Werner is spying for the Russians (Volodya Peshkov) and can't risk drawing attention to himself. She eventually learns his secret and takes over his spy network when he is sent to the front.

When the Russians liberate Germany Carla is raped by Russian soldiers and becomes pregnant as a result. The Russians treat the Germans harshly unlike the American, French and British soldiers but unfortunately the von Ulrich's live in the area of Germany under Russian control.

Dr Isaac Rothmann (Jewish) was taken away with his mentally ill patients and is presumed dead. His wife Hannelore survives thanks to Carla and they sent their daughter Eva to the States where Daisy befriends her. She accompanies Daisy to England and marries Jimmy Murray.

Volodya Peshkov discovers that Lev is his Father and that Grigori is actually his Uncle when Greg comes to Russia with the American delegation. Volodya is married to a Russian Scientist (Zoya) who is taken into custody by the Secret Police to insure that when they send Volodya to America to steal the atomic bomb he will return to Russia. He meets with his old school friend Wilhelm Frunze who was part of the Manhattan Project and convinces him to give him the plans for "Fat Boy". Wilhelm Frunze is executed when his treason is discovered.

Follett does an excellent job of explaining the conditions that lead up to World War II and the importance of various events before and after the war. Looking forward to reading the third book in the trilogy and finding out what he has in store for the next generation.

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