Feb 28, 2015

Sleep No More (Eve Duncan #15)

Sleep No More (Eve Duncan, #15)Sleep No More by Iris Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sandra reveals that she had a illegitimate child (Beth Avery) before she gave birth to Eve. Beth's Father came from a wealthy family and they were desperate to cover up the fact he liked young girls. Sandra was forced to give Beth up and was warned never to speak of the child, and she didn't for years. But after Bonnie was kidnapped she hired a private detective to find Beth.

Beth was given to relatives of Rick Avery (Beth's Father) to raise, and they packed her off to boarding schools as soon as she was old enough. Rick refused to stay away from him and she knew he was her Father, but understood it had to be a secret. Then she was supposedly in a skiing accident and was packed off to a mental institution from which she has now escaped, with help from Billy Newell. Sandra begged Eve and Joe to help find her. Eve and Joe leave for California and enlist the help of Kendra Michaels. Not only is Beth missing someone is trying to kill her.

Eve and Joe barely get to Newell in time to save his life, with his help they find Beth but then the killer starts tying up lose ends and the people that can confirm that Beth was kept drugged up and confined against her will start dying. Someone is terrified that Beth will remember what happened the night before her accident.

Rick Avery comes to California and contacts Beth, he insist on seeing her alone, but Eve insist on going with her to meet him. Beth realizes everything Eve told her about Rick liking young girls is true and insist on leaving but the killer is waiting in their car, when Rick intervenes the killer shoots and kills him against his orders. He takes Eve and Beth to his shack where he has a particularly horrifying death in store for Eve, if Bonnie can't summon help in time.

Even though Eve and Beth manage to survive the mastermind behind the killings gets away as no one can prove her involvement.

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Feb 26, 2015

Forbidden Blood (House of Comarré 0.5)

Forbidden Blood (House of Comarre, #0.5)Forbidden Blood by Kristen Painter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Makes me like Dominic even more than I did before. Poor guy Maris was just using him to get away from her patron and didn't really love or trust him. While he gave up everything for her and to care for her. Really hope he finds true love with someone else.

That said Dominic has never been one to play by the rules but has always had a sense of honor and chivalry. Really don't understand why anyone thinks he is such a bad boy.

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The Key to Rebecca

The Key to RebeccaThe Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

William Vandam is in pursuit of a Nazi spy whose Arab ties make it easy to blend in with the local populace. Alex Wolff (aka Achmed) is clever and unscrupulous and determined to gather key information for the Nazis.

With the help of Sonja, his former girlfriend, Wolff manages to allude the authorities and run a honey trap on Sandy Smith, whose eagerness to bed Sonja has him leaving his briefcase full of sensitive documents in Wolff's reach. The information Wolff is able to get from Smith allows the Nazis to win several battles.

Vandam recruits Elene, an Egyptian Jew, to help him find Wolff. A series of traps that Vandam lays for Wolff go awry leaving Elene at Wolff's mercy. With the authorities closing in Wolff kidnaps Vandam's son Billy and takes Billy and Elene into the desert. Vandam follows and a final desperate battle ensues that will not only determine if Billy and Elene live, but who will win the War.

I found the first twenty chapters rather slow going but the remainder of the book was fast paced and impossible to put down. I do think it was rather implausible that instead of sending the key information in his possession along to his handlers Wolff choose to spend the night in bed with Elene and Sonja, giving Vandam a chance to stop him from sending the information.

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Feb 23, 2015

High Heat (Jack Reacher, #17.5)

High Heat (Jack Reacher, #17.5)High Heat by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

17 year old Reacher visits New York on his own and helps an FBI agent entrap a made man, and provides information about the Son of Sam.

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Feb 22, 2015

A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17)

A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17)A Cold Heart by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Someone is killing artist who are on the verge of making it. Alex, Milo, Petra, and her new partner Eric Stahl join forces to bring the killer down.

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Feb 20, 2015

The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)

The Empty Throne (The Saxon Stories, #8)The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The previous book left off with Uhtred dying from a wound he received from Cnut. This book picks up with his son Uhtred (formerly known as Osbert) leading a war band for the Lady of Mercia AEthelflaed. He defeats Haki and AEthelflaed orders him to take the prisoners and plunder to Gleawecestre before Saint Cuthbert's Day. When he arrives at Gleawecestre Eardwulf takes the bounty and prisoners in the name of Lord AEthelred (AEthelflaed's estranged husband). To young Uhtred's surprise he finds his Father, (Uhtred) there in the Inn, since he has been summoned to a Witan, to decide who should rule Mercia after AEthelred dies(From now on any reference to Uhtred will be the elder).

Uhtred uncovers a scheme by AEthelhelm (King Edward's Father in Law) to kill King Edward's eldest son AEthelstan , They also intend to send AEthelflaed to a nunnery, marry AElfwynn (AEthelflaed & AEthelred's daughter) off to Eardwulf and have Eardwulf rule Mercia as King Edward's puppet. Uhtred pretends to be sicker than he is so he can have his men take him home ostentatiously to die. They rush to Cirrenceastre to save AEthelstan. Stiorra (Uhtred's daughter) refused to tell Brice's men where AEthelstan was so Father Aldwyn attacked her. Uhtred gets there in time to save everyone and questions Father Aldwyn who reveals that they planned to sell the twins AEthelstan and Eadgyth to Hrolf. Uhtred then allows Stiorra to kill Father Aldwyn. He sends AEthelstan and most of his household to Ceaster with Osferth (King Alfred's bastard son) where Uhtred believes they will be safe. Uhtred, his son, Finan and Stiorra head back to Gleawecestre to rescue AElfwynn. AElfwynn reveals that her Father is already dead, but that they were trying to keep it a secret until after the wedding.

Uhtred and his party meet up with Osferth's party but they are unable to continue on to safety due to flooding. Eardwulf catches up with them, but before he can kill them AEthelflaed shows up and chases him off. Eardwulf follows them and plans to burn the hall they are staying at and kill them while they sleep, but Uhtred anticipates their plot and easily defeats the conspirators, but Eardwulf (who is now an outlaw) and some of his men escape. Eardwulf leaves his sister Eadith (AEthelred's mistress) behind. She becomes Uhtred's mistress to AEthelflaed's displeasure. With Eardwulf defeated they head back to Gleawecestre where Uhtred plots to put AEthelflaed on the throne of Mercia. Uhtred pretends to become a Christian, and at the Witan points out that he is AEthelred's first cousin and his closest male relative. He also tricks Bishop Wulfheard into saying that the Lord of Mercia's wishes as to who should sit on the throne after him should be followed. Uhtred then makes a deal with AEthelhelm that he will support AEthelhelm's grandson, instead of AEthelstan, to succeed King Edward as long he is on the throne of Mercia when King Edward dies. The Witan promptly names Uhtred Lord of Mercia and he then relinquishes the throne to AEthelflaed with the Witan's approval.

AEthelflaed sends Uhtred to Ceaster and places AEthelstan in his care. Uhtred places AEthelstan and Stiorra in Osferth's care and sends them on to Ceaster. While Uhtred, his son, and Finan take the Drines to Wales looking for the sword Ice-Spite that wounded him. They get to Bishop Asser's grave at Tyddewi only to discover that Rognvald plundered Tyddewi before they got there and took the sword. Uhtred joins forces with King Hywel and they attack Rognvald's men. Ice-Spite is recovered and used to cure Uhtred's wound, Uhtred also ask for the life of the prisoner Berg. Berg reveals that Sigtryggr has Saxon's with him Eardwulf and his men and that they are headed North to attack. Uhtred realizes they are going to Ceaster and rushes to get there before him.

Uhtred manages to get past Sigtryggr's men and sets a trap for them at Ceaster. Sigtryggr's men are defeated but he attacks Uhtred and has the chance to kill him until he see's Stiorra. Uhtred takes his eye but Sigtryggr escapes. Later he surrenders his men and ask that they be allowed to sail back to his Father. He allows himself to be taken as hostage. Uhtred agrees to the deal and allows Stiorra to leave with Sigtryggr as his wife.

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My review of the previous book in the series The Pagan Lord can be found here.

My thoughts on the "After 'much prayer', doctor refuses to see 6-day-old baby because she has two moms" Incident

We have all read about bakers refusing to bake wedding cakes for same sex weddings, florist refusing to provide flowers, etc so I don't know why it's so shocking that a Doctor would choose to discriminate against a same sex couple raising a child. But it underlines why this sophistry of using "religious freedom" to discriminate has to end. What if an ER doctor, decided he couldn't treat a critically ill patient because the patients "lifestyle" or in this instance the "lifestyle" of the parents was counter to their religious beliefs. In a situation where every second counted this sort of discrimination could literally wind up costing someone their lives.

One also has to wonder why Dr. Vesna Roi choose such a humiliating and cruel way to deliver the news. Certainly Doctor  Roi had the chance at the time of the interview months before the baby was born to indicate that she would not feel comfortable as their child's doctor, why didn't she? Dr Roi, also had months to write a letter, asking the parents to find another pediatrician. At the very least she could have canceled the appointment instead of having a newborn and her parents make the trip to her office only to be told they were unwelcome.

One also has to question if she quizzes all the parents of the children under her care about their sex lives? Does she refuse to treat the children of unwed Mothers? Does she refuse to treat the children who are conceived in adultery?  How about the children who were conceived by rape/incest? What exactly made this baby girl "untouchable"?

Feb 19, 2015

The Activist (Theodore Boone, #4)

The Activist (Theodore Boone, #4)The Activist by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Theo faces his most challenging role as an activist. When his friend Hardie Quinn ask Theo to help his family fight "The Bypass" that threatens his family's home, Theo doesn't think there is much he can do to help due to Eminent Domain laws. But at the family supper table Mrs Boone (divorce lawyer) reveals she is against "The Bypass" she doesn't think it is needed, she thinks it will cause environmental damage, and she thinks the money spent on the bypass could be better spent on providing jobs for the people (school teachers, janitors, police officers, firemen) they just laid off due to lack of funds. Mr. Boone (real estate lawyer) comes out in favor of "The Bypass", and has a client Joe Ford who will benefit if "The Bypass" is approved by the County Commission. When Theo has a chance to talk to his Uncle Ike he learns that Ike too is opposed to "The Bypass" and that his friends will lose their home if it is approved.

Theo isn't really sure about fighting "The Bypass" until he and his friends are fishing on the Quinn's land when they see some men trespassing on the property. When Hardie Quinn confronts them they say they can be there as they are surveying the land for the County even though they do not have the property owners permission. Theo knows this is wrong and takes his cell phone out to call the police when the men attack him. Judge (Theo's dog) attempts to defend his Master from the brutal attack and is severely beaten with a surveyors stick before Theo is able to throw himself on top of the dog. The man who is beating Judge even hits Theo a few times before Theo is able to pick Judge up and run for help. Judge is rushed to the vet where he lingers in critical condition for several days with Theo by his side. Theo is determined to stop the thugs who injured his dog.

Theo becomes active with the environmental group who is fighting the bypass and he and his friends make a video that goes viral, they also recruit the parents and children who attend the elementary school which will be close to "The Bypass" and the parents and soccer players who will lose two of their new fields to "The Bypass" to fight it.

Joe Ford fires Mr. Boone due to Theo's activism. Mr. Boone packs the Ford files up to put in storage and Theo accidentally sees some information that shows that one of the Commissioners has a conflict of interest. Theo briefly toys with sending the Commissioner an anonymous letter threatening to reveal that his daughter stands to benefit from "The Bypass" being built, but decides not to as he saw it in the "law office" and realizes it's not ethical to reveal a clients private information even for the greater good.

When the Commissioners meet a huge crowd opposed to "The Bypass" shows up. The Commissioners vote is tied when the final Commissioner who was a vocal supporter of "The Bypass" chooses to abstain and "The Bypass" is defeated.

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Feb 17, 2015

Hope to Die: (Alex Cross #22)

Hope to Die: (Alex Cross 22)Hope to Die: by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the sequel to Cross My Heart, Alex is determined to track down Mulch and rescue his family. After Bree's body is found, Alex's head injury makes him a lose cannon in the first part of the book forcing Captain Quintus to ask for Alex's badge and gun and suggest that Alex go to the hospital for treatment. Alex slips away and returns home where he discovers the body of a young man he believes to be Damon.

Alex and Ava go to investigate the Thierry Mulch who supposedly died as a young man, in the course of his investigation Alex meets former Detective Atticus Jones, who always believed that Thierry murdered his Father and faked his own death. Atticus's daughter Gloria (who just happens to be a big shot TV producer) helps Alex fake the first murder Thierry demanded for ransom.

Detective Aaliyah and John Sampson track down the neo-Nazi skinhead that killed the two people believed to be Bree and Damon. by the time they get there Mulch has burned the man alive and left his Rottweiler doped up in the barn. The Rottweiler attacks Aaliyah and Sampson pulls the dog off her and restrains him with a rope (kudos to Patterson for finding a way to save Aaliyah and the dog).

Alex decides his next stop should be Damon's school to see if he can discover who Damon took a ride home with and Ava decides to stay with Gloria and see if she can discover what happened to Thierry's Mother Lydia. In a stroke of luck for the Cross's one of Damon's classmates has a picture of Acadia on his cell phone and the FBI starts tracking her down. Meanwhile Detective Tess Aaliyah (hope we read more about her in future books) has tracked Alex down to let him know the body he found wasn't Bree's.

The discovery is made that the two killings Marcus Sunday wrote about in his book are tied to Thierry Mulch the first family killed was Lydia's new family and the second was the family of one of Mulch's classmates. Alex calls Marcus Sunday with the news and ask if he had ever heard of Thierry Mulch or Acadia. Sunday denies knowledge of either person.

Acadia fearing that Mulch/Sunday is tiring of her makes a run for it. Mulch catches up to her at her Mother's and proceeds to feed Acadia to the alligators but the police get there in time to stop him. Mulch/Sunday escapes and Alex is in hot pursuit. Alex finds his family and the Cross family put up a fight to defeat Mulch/Sunday, before he can carry out his plans to kill them.

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Feb 15, 2015

Once More With Feeling

Five years later and Raven is still in love with Brandon Carstairs who has reentered her life and is determined to win her back.

Feb 14, 2015

Play It Again: Once More with Feeling\Dual Image

Dual ImageDual Image by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Ariel Kirkwood gets the part based on screenwriter Booth DeWitt's cruel ex-wife she soon finds herself falling for the handsome screenwriter. Charmed by her honesty Booth soon finds himself returning her feelings. But when the ex-wife learns of Ariel's success she is determined to destroy her. The private detective she hires to follow Ariel around sells a sensationalized story to the tabloids accusing Ariel of being in a custody battle for her love child.

Booth is dismayed that Ariel could have kept something so important from him, but quickly overcomes his feelings of dismay when the child goes missing.

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The Racketeer

The RacketeerThe Racketeer by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When an innocent man is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit he plots to get even with the justice system that failed him.

When Federal Judge Raymond Fawcett is murdered Malcolm fingers his best friend, Quinn (who escaped from the minimum security jail they are incarcerated in) for the crime in order to get a pardon, as well as entry into Witness Protection where he is given a new face at taxpayer expense.

Malcolm now known as Max then hooks up with the woman he fell in love with in prison when she came to visit her brother. Posing as a filmmaker he approaches a former cell mate (Nathan) and convinces him to star in his documentary about how the DEA is killing people instead of arresting them. Once he gets Nathan Cooley aboard the private plane he chartered to supposedly take them to Miami, FL, he gets the unsuspecting Nathan drunk and drugs him. Drugs and a gun are placed in his luggage along with a fake passport in the name of Nathanial Coley, when the plane lands in Jamaica, Nathan is arrested. Desperate to get out of the Jamaican Jail he tells Max he has enough money to bribe his way out and that he will split it with Max if he will go back to Virginia and retrieve it. Max tells his girlfriend (Vanessa) where to find the gold and she gets it out of Nathan's house and her and Max split it up and hide it when he returns to the States. Vanessa then goes to the authorities and tells them her brother couldn't have possible murdered Judge Fawcett as he was in rehab at the time of the Judge's death.

Max then contacts them and offers to tell them who really killed Judge Fawcett and brokers a deal that also includes a pardon for Quinn and them getting to keep the gold.

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Feb 9, 2015

Deceived A Hannah Smith Novel #2

DeceivedDeceived by Randy Wayne White
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Hannah's irrational fear of dogs and the brutal beheading of one of the dogs ruined the book for me. Also the fact that Alice Condor escaped justice made me sick. Suppose we will see more of the evil doctor as she lives next door to Hannah's Mother.

Alice Condor wants to get rid of the "fishing shacks" that surround her home and starts a campaign to drive Loretta (Hannah's Mom) out of her home and prevent Hannah from mooring her boat at the dock.

If that isn't enough trouble Lorretta's friend is found dead and Hannah is menaced by an axe wielding fiend. The murder has it's roots in the brutal death of the woman's husband decades ago. Now Hannah has to find the answers before she winds up dead.

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Feb 7, 2015

Theodore Boone: The Accused (Theodore Boone, #3)

Theodore Boone: The Accused (Theodore Boone, #3)Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Theodore finds himself in hot water when someone frames him for breaking into a computer shop in town and stealing several expensive items. Thanks to his Uncle Ike who convinces Theodore to "steal" the password for his Mother's Client Files, Ike and Theo are able to uncover the real culprits and set the police on their trail.

For comic relief Theo handles the case of the spitting lama v the security guard.

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Feb 5, 2015

Cross My Heart (Alex Cross, #21)

Cross My Heart (Alex Cross, #21)Cross My Heart by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alex is working hard to discover who is behind the spa killings and kidnapping of a prostitute, while Bree is working to find out who kidnapped two small children. To their surprise the cases are connected in a bizarre way.

And all the while "the writer" and his girlfriend are stalking Alex's family. Alex is devastated when "the writer" kidnaps Bree, Damon, Ali, Janine and Nana Mama (Regina Hope) and sends a picture of their corpses after Sampson comes to Alex's door. Alex wanders into the slums of D.C. in hopes of being killed where he is rescued by Ava. After he is safely home Ava, Sampson and Ned Mahoney convince Alex there is reason to hope his family is alive.

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Feb 1, 2015

The Collector

The CollectorThe Collector by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweet romantic and adventure packed. Fans of Alfred Hitchcock's
"Rear Window" should appreciate the window watching that begins the adventure.

Lila Emerson is a professional house-sitter and writer of a YA series on werewolves. While she is house sitting she views Sage (Blondie) being pushed to her death and calls the police. At first they assume that it was a murder-suicide as Sage's boyfriend (Slick aka Oliver) is found dead from a gun shot room in the apartment. But Oliver's brother, Ashton Archer refuses to believe that Oliver killed Sage and himself and with Lila's help Ash convinces the police to reopen the case.

Lila's best friend & the manager of an Art Gallery that frequently shows Ash's work(Julie) let's Lila use her address for mail and Lila crashes there between jobs, so the killer pays Julie's apartment a visit only taking a tube of expensive lipstick, perfume and designer shoes. Ash's best friend (Luke) turns out to be Julie's ex-husband and the guys are determined to protect the girls from harm. Ash is also determined to paint Lila. Romance soon ensues between the two couples.

Meanwhile Ash discovers that Oliver purchased a Faberge Imperial Egg from a client, who had no idea what it was, behind his Uncle's back. When Oliver raised the price with the man determined to "collect" it, "The Collector" sent Jai Maddok to get it from him. He didn't tell Sage where it was at and unfortunately for Jai the pills she gave Oliver killed him before she could get the information from him. Since "The Collector" doesn't handle failure well Jai is desperate to find the missing Egg.

Ash and Lila are equally determined to use the Egg to bring Jai and "The Collector" to justice.

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