Category Archives: Mystery

Book review: “A Heartbeat Away” by Michael Palmer

heartbeat

Synopsis (from bn.com):  On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building. A terrorist group calling itself “Genesis” has unleashed WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus, into the building. No one fully knows the deadly effect of the germ except for the team responsible for its development—a team headed by Allaire, himself. The only one who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently in solitary confinement in a maximum security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts, including the attempted theft of WRX3883 from the lab where he worked. Rhodes has no idea why he has been arrested, but when Allaire offers to free him in exchange for his help combating the virus, he reluctantly agrees to do what he can to support the government that has imprisoned him without apparent cause.

Meanwhile, every single person in line for presidential succession is trapped inside the Capitol—every person except one: the Director of Homeland Security, who is safely at home in Minnesota, having been selected as the “Designated Survivor” for this event. With enemies both named and unnamed closing in, and the security of the nation at stake, Griff must unravel the mysteries of WRX3883 without violating his pledge as a scientist to use no animal testing in his experiments…and time is running out.

Tense, thrilling, and entirely plausible, A Heartbeat Away will make you reflect, wonder, and be truly afraid.

 

My thoughts:   Loved, loved, loved this book!   A terrorist group releases a deadly virus directly into the chamber during the President’s State of the Union address . . . could there be a more exciting start to a book.

What ensues is chaos, political agendas, struggles for power, medical mysteries, and a hunt for the cure.

An absolute thrill ride of a book that I literally did not want to put down.

If you love a good virus book and a mix of a medical and political mystery do youself a favor a get this book now!!!

And remember

Books Are life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Medical Drama, Michael Palmer, Mystery

Book Review: “Desperate Creed” by Alex Kava (Ryder Creed K9 Mystery #5)

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Title:  Desperate Creed

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Ryder Creed

Sunopis (from bn.com):  A STORM IS COMING—

In Alabama: A deadly outbreak of tornadoes sends K9 handlers, Ryder Creed and Jason Seaver with their scent dogs, Grace and Scout to search for survivors. As storms intensify and Ryder and Jason race against time to save victims, they end up racing to save themselves.

—NOT EVERYONE’S STORM IS THE SAME—

In Chicago: Francine “Frankie” Russo is irritated when her young co-worker calls at 5:00 am for a video-chat and catches her in only a towel. She’s so annoyed with Tyler Gates that she’s barely paying attention when two men confront him on the street. In a matter of seconds, Frankie witnesses Tyler’s murder. Then the killers pick up the phone. And suddenly, they know what Frankie looks like, who she is, where she works and lives. She knows absolutely nothing about them. But one thing’s for certain—they’re coming for her next.

—WHEN THE STORM HITS—

Frankie calls the only people she knows can help: her childhood friend, Hannah Washington and Hannah’s business partner, Ryder Creed. Hannah tells her to “come on home,” and she arranges a meeting for Frankie to meet with FBI agent Maggie O’Dell.

 

My thoughts:  I absolutely love this series . . . as a fan of Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, I was ready to jump into her new series, although a bit leery as it had to do with a dog rescuer – not totally my thing.  I was pleasantly surprised however and always jump into this series when a new one comes out.

I will admit that at times in this one the plots seemed a bit misplaced for me.  What I thought was supposed to be the main storyline, actually became a subplot and a bit in the background.  And why for goodness sake did we have the odd chapters with the focus on the weatherman in it – was it supposed to bring us closer to the storm?  Well it didn’t and to me just seemed oddly out of place.

All in all a solid read.   Can’t wait for book #6!!  Bring it on!

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

 

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Filed under Fiction, Mystery

Book Review “19th Christmas” by James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club #19)

bookTitle:  19th Christmas

Author: James Patterson

Series:  Women’s Murder Club #19

Synopsis (from bn.com):

As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner’s office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco.

Then a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman” seizes control of the headlines. Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women’s Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.

 

My thoughts:  I’d love to say this series is getting better and better, but it is just not the case.  In fact, this series seems to be getting weaker and weaker to me.  When it takes me a week to get through a James Patterson book, I know there is trouble.

The last couple books in this series have just been losing their steam.  19th Christmas seemed very disjointed and basically just boring.   I understand the author has books in the series that really focus on just one character of the Women’s Murder Club – in this case mostly Lindsey Boxer, but they are much better when all the women are featured and what they are working on fits together on the same case in some way.

In this book, the main story of Lindsey Boxer solving the big case was boring in and of itself, and then the story of Cindy the journalist writing some random story was completely disjointed from everything else and just seemed to go away instantly having no purpose to the story or the book.

Yuki – the DA – and Claire – the ME – were hardly featured at all.  And don’t get me started on the odd epilogue that had absolutely no place – random, random, random.

Overall, boring, seemingly forced, and disappointing!   Ugh!  I hate to even suggest that perhaps its time for this series to fade away!!!

Well, happy reading!

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Mystery, New Releases

Book Review: “Host” by Robin Cook

host

Title:  Host

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.
Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.
What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.
When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

My thoughts:   Recently I got into a bit of a Robin Cook phase after finding Charlatans by mistake at the library.  So I embarked on “Host”.   Unfortunately, it wasn’t my favorite.

I love medical dramas (and there just isn’t enough out there :), but this one left me a bit disappointed.  After having just read Charlatans, Host was just too similar.  They were both about anesthesia complications and frankly I was a bit stunned how similar they felt to each other.

Also, uncharacteristically for me and medical dramas, the two main characters in this drama were 4th year medical students who frankly where just idiotic.  They were juvenile, were way too unknowledgeable about medicine to be that far in med school, and pulled ridiculous stunts that even for fiction were ridiculously fake!

Not my favorite Robin Cook read, ugh!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Uncategorized

Book Review: “The Chemist” by Stephenie Meyer

thechemistTitle:  The Chemist

Author:  Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Synopsis:  Well I would love to say that this book was fantastic . . . but I just can’t.  The overall premise of the book was great in theory – ex US government employee goes underground the escape from her ex bosses in a tale of intrigue and suspense.

The book in my opinion was about 200 pages too long . . . just unneeded detail and wild jumps in plot lines to me.  500 pages was way too long for this one.

The book would have been so much better for me if the author would have simply focused on the  primary storyline of government intrigue rather than somehow going into this odd love story between two characters.

There were parts where they storyline really picked up the pace and I had great hope, but then it was gone.

Overall, an overly long attempt at great drama, interrupted by an unrealistic love story and a ridiculous amount of details.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn

womaninthewondow

Title:  The Woman in theWindow

Author:  A. J. Finn

Synopsis:

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

My thoughts:  One word . . . WOW!  I thought this was an amazing read.  It has been a long time since I have read a book that I literally couldn’t put down . . . I kept trying to put it down to go do some housework and I kept picking it up.

Think Hitchcock meets Girl on the Train . . . although even better.

The psychological nature of this book was just spellbinding . . . creepy, mesmerizing.   The way the author crafted the writing, I could literally feel the main character spiraling out of control in her mental illness and drinking, getting more and more confused and isolated!  What a ride.

I will admit that I am not one who figures things out in books before they happen and I did figure out the interesting plot line about 2/3 through the book, was pretty much a no brainer.

People online were just raving about the ending of this book . . . I must admit it wasn’t my favorite, it was a bit anticlimactic to me.  The rest of the book made up for it in spades for me though.

Loved, loved, loved this book!

Do yourself a favor and jump on this one.

And remember,

Books Are Life

heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Mystery, New Releases, Thriller

Book Review: “Miracle Cure” by Harlan Coben

miracle cure

Title:  Miracle Cure

Author:  Harlan Coben

Summary (from bn.com):  A Harlan Coben Classic-Now Back in Print!

In a clinic on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a doctor has dedicated his life to eradicating a devastating disease. One by one, his patients are getting well. And one by one, they’re being targeted by a serial killer.

There’s only one cure, but many ways to die…

My thoughts:  I didn’t realize when I picked this book up that is was a reprint from 1991.  That certainly explains the dated references . . . such as car phones & beepers . . . and in general the dated overall topic of AIDS, AIDS research and funding.

Putting that aside . . . I really, really enjoyed this book.  I sat down and read its 500 pages in about a day and a half – which is not exactly like me if its not a Patterson book :).  I felt it was fast paced, thoroughly enjoyed the characters, and my jaw dropped a bit when the mystery was solved . . . I thought I had it figured out, but I didn’t go there.

Overall, a fast paced great read!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Filed under Detective/Police, Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Uncategorized