Jun 28, 2015

The Lost

The Lost (includes In Death, #29.5)The Lost by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dog Days of Laurie Summer by Patricia Gaffney - Laurie drowns and is in a coma, but somehow her soul is inside a dog her husband and son rescue. She discovers that all the things she thought were important don't hold a candle to spending time with her husband and son. An unselfish act puts her soul back in her body and she comes out of her coma. But who will believe that she lived a year with her family as a dog?

Lost in Paradise by Mary Blayney - Isabelle's innocence is the only hope Father Joubay and Sebastian have of breaking a 200 year old curse.

Missing in Death by J.D. Robb (already read)

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Victims (Alex Delaware, #27)

Victims (Alex Delaware, #27)Victims by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The case begins with the gruesome death of a thoroughly unpleasant woman. Milo hopes that it was the woman's unpleasant disposition that lead to her death but when Mr. Nice guy dies Milo realizes he has a serial killer on his hands.

Alex soon links the deaths to a patient at a mental facility where he worked and Milo and Alex begin the arduous task of tracking the mental patient and his accomplice down.

Eventually the accomplice who has been passing himself off as a psychiatrist is captured during a routine traffic stop and chooses suicide by cop as his way out. Milo and Alex find the mental patient on the grounds of the defunct mental hospital where he was housed as a child after killing his Mother, before the hospital was shut down.

*I really think it stinks that Mr Nice guy's wife didn't want the family dog after it was found alive with the mental patient, but am glad that Louie and Ned (another victims dog, that was also found with the mental patient) found a home together.

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Jun 24, 2015

What Doesn't Kill You (Catherine Ling #2)

What Doesn't Kill YouWhat Doesn't Kill You by Iris Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Catherine remembers her past when she first meet Hu Chang and the unbreakable bond of friendship was formed between them. Now Hu Chang is being hunted by Nardik who wants Pondera the untraceable poison Hu Chang created. Determined to keep Pondera out of Nardik's clutches Hu Chang uses Venable to extract himself from Nardik's goons, but contrary to Hu Chang's wishes Venable involves Catherine and provides her with Gallo for backup.

They eventually manage take Hu Chang into protective custody. Now they have to find out who Nardik plans to kill with the one vial of Pondera he has. But before they can Hu Chang disappears. Catherine and Gallo soon discover it is a candidate for President and make plans to protect him, but then Nardik kidnaps Chatherine's son Luke. Except Hu Chang is up to his usual tricks, Hu Chang has kidnapped the man Nardik sent after Luke and working together Luke and Hu Chang are weaving their own web to capture Nardik. Catherine is furious at Hu Chang for involving her son but as usual forgives him.

Catherine arranges to meet with Nardik to trade Pondera for Luke, Gallo and Hu Chang follow with plans to take out Nardik once and for all. Catherine finishes Nardik but is injured in the process. While she is recuperating in the hospital Hu Chang takes Luke to Chen Lu's home in Hong Kong. When Catherine arrives Hu Chang reveals that Pondera can also extend life and involves stem cells. Pondera is his gift to Luke and Catherine.

Gallo arrives and he and Catherine get closer.



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Jun 21, 2015

The Forgotten Room (Jeremy Logan #4)

The Forgotten Room (Jeremy Logan #4)The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeremy Logan is summoned to Lux to look into the apparent suicide of Dr. Willard Strachey. Jeremy soon realizes that Strachey's odd behavior stems from the renovations he was making to the West Wing of Lux. When he finds a mysterious hidden room with strange equipment further questions arise. Who removed all the notes and documents from the room and how are they entering the hidden room.

Jeremy visits Pamela Flood the granddaughter of the original architect of Lux. She shows Jeremy the secret elevator her Grandfather installed. A relationship begins to develop but before things get serious Pamela is burned alive inside her home, and yet another of the Scientist at Lux starts exhibiting odd behavior.

Jeremy with the help of Strachey's assistant Kim, soon discovers the strange equipment emits noises that drive people mad.

Laura Benedict calls and summons Jeremy to her lab in the basement, ostensibly because she wants to protect him. She reveals that she is the granddaughter of one of the scientist who worked on the project which was abruptly terminated by Lux. Feeling that her family should have reaped financial benefits from the project that Lux denied them Laura has been working with Ironhand to remove the equipment and notes from Lux in secret. When Strachey found the secret room she found it necessary to use the equipment to drive Strachey mad. She attempted to do the same thing with Jeremy but a charm he wears prevented it. Now goons from Ironhand plan to kill him. Jeremy uses the equipment to drive Laura and her goons from Ironhand crazy and rescues Kim who was also attacked by the goons.

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Jun 18, 2015

Gray Mountain

Gray MountainGray Mountain by John Grisham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Samantha Kofer leaves a lot to be desired in a main character, a crusader she isn't and seems to get pushed into everything. She is more like a bit player in a book that revolves around her.

When Samantha's Big Law firm in New York experiences financial difficulties she is offered a furlough which will allow her to keep her medical benefits, the catch she has to work at a non-profit for a year. Flooded with lawyers with the same deal the non-profits are actually turning volunteers away. The only position Samantha can land is working for a legal aid clinic in rural Virginia which is dominated by the Coal Companies.

She meets Donovan who is determined to right the wrong done to his family when a Mining Company tricked his Father into leasing their land "Gray Mountain" to them for strip mining the land was totally destroyed and his Father never received the financial benefits promised. Donovan's Mother committed suicide on the site of the family home which was destroyed by the strip mining and his Father fled to Montanan to start over without his family.

Donovan is currently working on 3 cases. The first, the Tate case, involves a single Mom whose two son's were killed when a boulder crushed their trailer while they were sleeping. The second is a large law suite involving several lawyers suing Krull Mining. Donovan has proof the company knew that it's mine had poisoned the drinking water and was causing cancer but that they crunched the numbers and determined it would be cheaper to pay the claims of those with cancer than to clean up the site. Krull is supposedly paying goons to follow him and his brother Jeff around in hopes of retrieving the proof Donovan liberated from their offices. The third case involves a man Samantha referred to Donovan. Buddy Ryzer was diagnosed with black lung 10 years ago. He tried to get benefits but without a lawyer his claim was denied. Now he is sicker than ever and went to Samantha for help. While she was looking into his medical records she discovered that the Coal Company's own expert witness noted that Buddy had black lung. The Company didn't use that witness and found another doctor to say he didn't. So while Samantha is handling Buddy's appeal for black lung benefits Donovan is going after them for criminal wrong doing.

Donovan wins the Tate case and is awarded a huge settlement for the boys' Mother, Donovan has a verbal agreement with the company to pay. But then Donovan is killed in a small plane crash. The company reneges on it's agreement and files an appeal. The FBI raids Donovan's office looking for the "proof" against Krull Mining. The Ryzer case is dropped as a lawyer can't be found to pursue it. And Jeff is convinced his brother was murdered.

Various people try to get Samantha to help with the different cases and she consistently turns them down, but becomes involved in the Krull controversy when she starts sleeping with Jeff. The FBI raids her office looking for the missing documents.

After Buddy is fired from his job with no hope of Black Lung Benefits sooner than five years and the criminal case dead because of Donovan's death Buddy commits suicide so his family will have the money they need to survive from his Life Insurance Policy.

Samantha eventually agrees to speak to her Mother about getting the FBI called off looking for the missing documents. Jeff uses a romantic weekend at the Gray Mountain Cabin with Samantha to retrieve the documents and get them to a lawyer who has made arrangements with the judge to protect the documents from Krull. Krull's goons take a few shots at Jeff, but with his friends help they get the documents to the lawyer.

Samantha receives a job offer from her old boss in New York and toys with the offer but ultimately decides to stay in Virginia and handle the Tate appeal and the Ryzer case.

I wonder if there will be a sequel telling us the outcome of these case, as the end of the book kinda left things up in the air.

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Jun 14, 2015

One Door Away from Heaven

One Door Away from HeavenOne Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not one of his better books and the only character that really engaged me was Noah Farrel the Private Investigator.

We have the orphaned boy who is being chased by killers and turns out to be an alien.

We have the disabled girl Leilani, whose druggie Mother is married to a serial killer who plans to kill Leilani next.

And since this is a Koontz novel it all works out in the end.

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Jun 13, 2015

Gathering Prey (Lucas Davenport, #25)

Gathering Prey (Lucas Davenport, #25)Gathering Prey by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can't help but wonder if this is the end of the Davenport series as Lucas resigns from the BCA at the end.

Letty makes friends with two "Travlers" Sky and Henry. When Henry goes missing Sky contacts Letty who talks Davenport into meeting with her. Sky tells him of Pilate and his Disciples who she says are into killing. Lucas would like to dismiss the tale of cannibalism and torture Sky tells as an urban legend but the young woman is oddly convincing. Lucas promises to look into Henry's disappearance. When Henry's body is found further credence is lent to Sky's tale.

Then Pilate kidnaps Sky. She manages to call Letty and Lucas is able to trace the cell phone. The Disciple driving the car Sky is in is killed and Sky is rescued. When Sky learns Henry was crucified and tortured before he was killed Sky ditches Letty and sets off for a Juggalo gathering where she knows Pilate will be. Letty tracks her down but they become separated and Pilate and his disciples kick Sky to death. When Letty goes to look for Sky Pilate attacks her but a Juggalo rescues Letty. Lucas sends Letty home to recover and works with the local cops on capturing Pilate.

Pilate and his Disciples hole up in a small town where they get in a shoot out with the local cops. Pilate and Kristen sneak off during the shoot out and manage to evade the road blocks. Eventually all of the Disciples that were left behind are captured or killed.

Lucas heads home and unbeknownst to him Pilate and Kristen are waiting for him. They wait outside BCA headquarters and plan to ambush Letty and Lucas on a quiet street. Letty realizes they are being followed and Lucas sets a trap. Kristen surrenders but Pilate makes a run for it and takes a young woman hostage. She has the presence of mind to throw hot coffee in his face and Lucas kills him.

Henry Sands is not pleased with Lucas and Lucas resign from the BCA.

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Jun 11, 2015

Mistress

MistressMistress by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ben's constant insertion of trivia into the story was annoying.

Ben starts off as a sort of creepy rich guy. He is in his girlfriend's apartment planting hidden cameras and rummaging through her closets when the story begins. But oh wait Diana isn't really his girlfriend,he just wishes she was, and someone asked him to plant the cameras. He leaves before 10 as instructed and while he is still in the parking lot discussing his motorcycle with some guys Diana jumps from the balcony. But as Ben Casper is fond of saying "murder can be made to look like suicide".

Ben (the rich owner of a online newspaper) starts investigating Diana's death. He travels to her memorial service in the mid-west in his private plane. He talks with her brother who gives Ben a name Jonathan Lieu a wealthy Chinese lobbyist. On his way home the plane experiences engine failure and Ben barely manages to land the plane. Realizing someone is trying to kill him he leaves the hospital and travels to his family's remote cabin. Hearing a noise he realizes someone is in the cabin and tricks them into thinking he is in the shower while he escapes.

He confronts Jonathan who tells him he had nothing to do with Diana's death but tells Ben he should look into Kutuzov (a Russian agent) and the White House. Shortly after their talk Jonathan Lieu is killed and Ben takes Jonathan's computer when he finds the body. Unfortunately he crashes his motorcycle and the computer is damaged so if there was anything useful on it, Ben never finds it.

Ben goes to a friend on the police force (Ellis) who shows him photos of Diana's crime scene that he didn't turn over to the FBI. Ben realizes that the body isn't Diana's and that she must still be alive. Ellis and Ben arrange to talk to Kutuzov, but on the way to the meeting Russian Mobsters start shooting at them and Ellis is killed. The police blame Ellis' death on Ben, but before they can arrest him he puts some things together and calls the Director of the CIA (and personal friend of the President) Craig Carney. Carney tries to cut a deal with Ben, he will make all Ben's problems go away if he stops investigating. Ben refuses the deal and goes to an old Professor who points him in the right direction.

Ben meets with a detective (Sean) who is investigating Nina's disappearance. Ben suspects that Nina was the woman who was killed at Diana's apartment and is sickened when emails Sean provides show that Diana set Nina up to be killed in her place.

The Russians are blackmailing the President of the U.S. into allowing them to invade the former Soviet Countries and retake them. The Chinese are trying to prevent this from happening by finding the video and releasing it and everyone thinks Ben has it. Carney freezes Ben's accounts in an effort to force him to drop his investigation, but when he realizes that Ben doesn't have the video he allows the D.C. Police to issue a warrant for his arrest. Ben evades arrest long enough to figure out what was on the video and crash an event the President is attending and shout out that he knows the Russians are blackmailing him and that he has proof.

Ben discovers that the President had no idea the Russians were blackmailing him with a sex tape of his wife with Diana, when confronted by the President Carney reveals everything he did to try to prevent the Russians from using the Lesbian sex tape. Ben's financial and legal woes are fixed and Ben visits Diana in jail to get some closure. Diana had filmed herself with the President's wife and then sold the film to the highest bidder., Carney found her and arrested her for espionage.

Ben goes back to see the Professor who is dying and learns that the Chinese killed his Mother and his Father was forced to cover the murder up to protect Ben. Ben's Father was eventually caught spying for the Chinese and was under house arrest which was why he never allowed Ben to visit him.

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Jun 8, 2015

Born of Defiance (The League, #7)

Born of Defiance (The League, #8)Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK, this book is totally confusing in the beginning because it happens in the past. The best I can tell this book should be taking place around the same time as Born of Night. I also can't fathom how Fain doesn't know he has a son, when so many of his friends do. It's really hard for me to like Galene (Talyn's Mother) when I know how much better Talyn's life would have been if Fain had known about him.

Due to being the bastard of an outcast (Fain Hauk/Fain of the Warring Blood Clan of Hauk) Talyn can never marry and Father children. The only way he can be in the army is by fighting in the Ring (Death matches) and he was denied admission to medical school due to his bastard status even though his Mother (Galene Batur/ Galene of the Winged Blood Clan of Batur) is high status and from a family of medical professionals. Without any friends and desperate for some female companionship he buys a companion at an outrageous price.

Felicia Orfanos decides to become a companion in order to pay for medical school and accepts Talyn's contract even though he is extremely low status. To her surprise he treats her more like a girlfriend or treasured wife then a paid companion and she quickly falls in love with "The Iron Hammer".

Talyn's CO is making his life miserable and when Talyn discovers that the CO is abusing the women in his squad Talyn stands up for them. Chrisen eton Anatole (member of the royal family) shoots Talyn down during a mission. Talyn recovers and reports Chrisen for abusing the women, but the women say that Talyn was the one harassing them. Afraid of what Chrisen will do to Talyn when he has to report back to work Felicia goes to her brother (Lorens) and begs him to get him transferred. Talyn thinks being transferred to the Palace where his Mother works is a dream come true. But his first day on the job Prince Jullien eton Anatole, Chrisen eton Anatole, and Merrell eton Anatole gang up on him. When he finally attacks them they have him branded for treason and dumped on Onoria, as he is too well known and his Mother is too highly connected for them to kill. When Felicia grows worried about him she calls Lorens, who is horrified to discover Talyn's fate. They go to Galene who arranges for her best friend Jayne Toole Erixour (yeah Dancer's best friend but she fails to tell him he has a nephew?) along with Jayne's husband, Hadrian S. Erixour and Hadrian's brother NERO (Quite a few secrets revealed there, Hadrian appears to be an even more powerful Trisani than Nero). As Crowned Princess Cairistiona eton Anatola's body guard Galene is able to insure he will get a pardon, if they are able to rescue him.

Once Talyn recovers from nearly dying in the fighting pits of Onoria, Queen Eriadne demotes him and puts him back under Chrisen's command. The agency refuses to renew Felicia's contract with Talyn and orders her to become Merrell eton Anatole's companion. Sickened by the idea of having to sleep with Merrell Felicia attempts to buy out her contract but doesn't have the money to do so. Her Mother offers to loan her what money she has but it isn't enough. When Talyn finds out he contracts for more fights so he can buy Felicia's freedom but without a contract it is illegal for them to be together. Talyn also hires Sentella bodyguards for Felicia after Chrisen attempts to kidnap her. And golly gee people finally start talking to one another and Galene figures out that Nemesis is actually Cairistiona eton Anatola's son Nykyrian eton Anatole, that Queen Eriadne tried to kill.

With something to fight for Cairistiona eton Anatola overthrows her Mother with her sister's help and they take command of the military. Lorens is put in command and he names Talyn as his second in command. They round all the bad guys up and Felicia's Mom provides a contract for Felicia and Talyn. Who still can't marry due to Talyn's bastard status.

Not sure why the book ended with such a sucky ending for Talyn and Felicia as in Born of Fury Queen Cairistiona adopts Fain.

So sometime in the future Talyn will have one of the highest pedigrees and they will be able to marry. Figure it will happen in the next book which is about Talyn's parents.


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Jun 5, 2015

Elantris (Elantris, #1)

Elantris (Elantris, #1)Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Princess Sarene of Teod sets out for Arelon to make a political marriage with Crown Prince Raoden. When she arrives she is informed she is his widow and the marriage contract forbids her from ever marrying again. She is determined to protect Arelon and Teod from the Fjordell who are determined to conquer Teod and Arelon. She quickly makes friends with Raoden's friends who help her with her political intrigue. As her widows trial, she starts to feed the people who are entombed in Elantris.

Raoden (known as Spirit inside Elantris) isn't actually dead, taken by the Shaod, he is one of the living dead who have been entombed in the decaying city of Elantris. Determined to figure out why the Elantrians lost their magical abilities and the city and Elantrians are decaying, Raoden forms alliances with those already there and begins to renew their hope. When he finds a library with books, he sets to work studying the Aons in hopes of learning how to fix Elantris.

Hrathen arrives in Arelon determined to convert the populace to the Shu Dereth religion. If he can't convert the city in 3 months his Fjordell Master will conquer it and many lives will be lost, but unbeknownst to Hrathen a local Fjordell priest, Dilaf is determined to kill all the citizens of Teod and Arelon and burn Elantris to the ground due to the death of his wife, who the Elantrians were unable to heal. He undermines Hrathen every chance he gets to the point Hrathen takes poison that mimics the Shaod. Hrathen is thrown into Elantris but 5 days later after beseeching his God he is "healed" when the poison wears off and returns to Arelon.

While he was in Elantris Sarene uncovered the fact that King Iadon was making human sacrifices, which resulted in his arrest. Unable to face the disgrace King Iadon committed suicide. As the "richest man" in Elantris Hrathen's puppet, Telril is posed to take the throne. A desperate scheme is hatched for Roial and Princess Sarene to wed combining their wealth and making Roial the richest so he can take the throne. Before they can wed Serene is supposedly taken by the Shaod and cast into Elantris. Spirit befriends her and they quickly fall in love, but in 5 days time she is cured and returned to Arelon just as Hrathen planned. Telril is already on the throne and the "friends" meet to hatch a plan to usurp him.

Raoden figures out the Aons enough to make a disguise and returns to Arelon as the Dula Kaloo, along with his servant Galladon. Roial quickly befriends "Kaloo" and invites him to join the conspirators. Ahan betrays them to King Telril who orders their execution to Ahan's dismay. Roial is killed and only by revealing himself as Raoden is Raoden able to prevent the execution of the others. Telril flees from Raoden and his soldiers follow him. Eondel follows with his men and assassinates Telril in revenge. Dilaf uses the chaos to start rounding up the citizens of Arelon and attacking the Elantrians. Raoden is attacked and left for dead and Dilaf uses magic to take Hrathen and Sarene to Teod. Where Dilaf plans to use Sarene as a hostage to force the King of Teod to surrender the city.

Galladon enlist Karata's aid to help him take Raoden to the pool, but before they drop him in Raoden comes back to his right mind and has the answer to fixing Elantris. They fight desperately to get to the Aon that powers Elantris, so Raoden can fix it. He fixes it just in time to save the citizens of Arelon and Elantris who were fixing to be burned alive by Dilaf's men.

Raoden is dismayed to find that Sarene has been whisked away to Teod and gambles on using a Aon to reach her in time. Hrathen who has fallen for Sarene gives his life to save her and Raoden

The Fjordell are defeated. Raoden and Sarene are wed and Elantris returns to the magical place it once was.

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Jun 1, 2015

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12)

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12)12th of Never by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joe's out of town and San Fransisco is having a huge storm so of course Lindsay goes into labor. Baby Julie, winds up being delivered by firemen. Shortly after she is born Julie is plagued by fever, the doctors suspect lymphoma but luckily it turns out to be mono, from being delivered in a less than sterile environment.

When Richie and Cindy start having problems Richie falls for hot new intern MacKenzie Morales, in between working their cases.

Faye Farmer's body disappears from the morgue, as well as the security guard Tracey Pendleton. Claire is demoted after the body is stolen from her morgue. When the bodies of Faye and Tracey eventually show up in Nevada, video footage of her fiancee 49ers star Jeff Kennedy and his buddy at a gas station prove he was the killer.

English Professor Judd comes to the police with the his dream about a murder that hasn't happened yet. When the murder takes place exactly as he described it he is the cheif suspect. Then he dreams of another murder and again it takes place exactly as he described it. Convinced he is experiencing precognition he gleefully reports each dream to the police and each dream is faithfully reproduced until the killer, kills Professor Judd.

Convicted killer Randy Fish comes out of his coma and promises to tell the police where the bodies of his victims are if Lindsay will talk to him. While he is out of prison leading the FBI and police to the bodies a police officer throws a flash bang and Randy Fish escapes. A car chase ensues and Randy's rescuer eventually wrecks. Randy, his Baby Mama and their son are severally injured. Randy dies at the scene after telling Lindsay where the bodies are. A severely injured Morales confesses to killing the people in Judd's dreams to make his visions come true. Morales escapes from the hospital.

Yuki's case against Keith Herman for the murder of his wife and daughter goes bust when his daughter shows up alive and well and the witnesses are discredited. But when they find the couple that was "babysitting" the little girl (Lily) the couple quickly reveal that Herman was paying them to keep Lily and that he left the car he transported Lily and her dead Mother in on their property. The car provides enough forensic evidence to put Herman away for his wife's death.

Cindy tries to get back with Richie but he tells her No.



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