Category Archives: Mystery

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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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

Book Review: “Reckless Creed” by Alex Kava (Ryder Creed series #3)

reckless creedTitle:  Reckless Creed

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Ryder Creed #3

Synopsis (From bn.com):   In the new edge-of-your-seat thriller from New York Times–bestselling author Alex Kava, Ryder Creed, his K-9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O’Dell find themselves at the center of a dire and mysterious case.
 
In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-story hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son stumble upon a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest…and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell will discover the ominous connection among these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever known.

 

My thoughts:  I love, love, love this series by Alex Kava and truly hope it goes on for awhile.  I am so glad I took the chance on this series as I was afraid nothing could match the quality of Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, but this certainly does.

I absolutely love how Kava weaves together the new characters of Ryder Creed and his crew with the beloved Maggie O’Dell characters – brilliant.

The plot of the novel was fast-paced and well done in my opinion.

Overall, a great new series by a beloved author.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

heather

 

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Book Review: “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

we were liars

Title:  We Were Liars

Author:  E. Lockhart

Pages:  225

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

 

My thoughts:

What can I say about this book but . . . WOW!

I was enjoying the suspense, mystery, and thrill of the book . . . and then BAM I was hit with the ending.  It smacks you across the face and as the reader you mouth drops open and you find yourself saying “what did I just read?”  Loved it!

Before the ending – which of course I will not say one thing about – the book was solid in plot and characters.  I enjoyed the pace of the book and found the plot just the right amount of twisty, suspense, mystery, and drama.

This book really addresses the themes of lifelong friendships, change, family conflict, secrets, and ultimately the price of those conflicts and secrets.

I am not a huge fan of books to movie adaptations at all as of course usually as a reader the book is almost always much better – but in the right hands, this book could make a very, very interesting movie!

Overall a book I really, really enjoyed!  Fast read, solid plot, strong characters, and of course an ending that at least blew me away!  Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review: “Silent Creed” by Alex Kava (Ryder Creed

silentcreedTitle:  Silent Creed

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Ryder Creed series #2

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Ryder Creed and his K9 search-and-rescue dogs return in the second installment of an exciting new series, teaming up once more with FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell in their riskiest case yet.

When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows that the difference between finding survivors and the dead is time. He and his sturdiest search-and-rescue dog, Bolo, get to work immediately, but the scene is rife with danger: continued rainfall prevents the rescue teams from stabilizing the land; toxic household substances spread by the crushing slide fill the area with hazardous waste; and the detritus and debris are treacherous for both man and dog to navigate. But most perilous are the secrets hidden under the mud and sludge—secrets someone would kill to protect. For this is no ordinary rescue mission. Among the buildings consumed by the landslide was a top-secret government research facility, and Creed has been hired to find what’s left of it.

Then rescuers recover the body of a scientist from the facility who was obviously dead before the landslide—killed by a gunshot to the head. The FBI sends Agent Maggie O’Dell to investigate, and she and Creed are soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and murder that may involve not only the government facility, but decades-old medical experiments that are the subject of current congressional hearings. As more bodies are found under even more unusual circumstances, they come ever closer to exposing the truth—but with unknown forces working against them, Maggie, Creed, and the dogs are running out of time.

 

My thoughts:  For a series that I was quite leery about given the overall dog trainer theme, I am loving this series.   This second book in the series allows the reader a deeper dive into the life of somewhat mysterious dog trainer, Ryder Creed, and his background.

I am also enjoying getting to know the characters a bit better and seeing the relationship between Ryder and my old favorite character from Alex Kava’s first series, Maggie O’Dell, continue to develop.

I liked the overall storyline and plot of this story, but I wish the author would have spent a bit more time discussing and delving into the story of the lab/the experiments and the secrets behind that.  It was a good part of the story and felt a bit rushed for me.  A better balance between the story of the actual dog searches and this would have added some intrigue and excitement to the read.

Overall, another great series from a favorite author.  I will no doubt be getting book #3 in this series as soon as I get my lazy butt to the library.

And remember,

Books are life

Heather

 

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Book Review: “Fireproof” by Alex Kava (Maggie O’Dell Series #10)

fireproof

Title:  Fireproof

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Maggie O’Dell series #10

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):

New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava returns in a blaze of glory with a gripping, action-packed thriller featuring special agent Maggie O’Dell,who is leading the search for a serial arsonist whose crimes threaten Maggie dangerously close to home.

When a building bursts into flames on a cold winter night in D.C., investigators see a resemblance to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists they’re looking for a young white male, suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out his anger or sexual aggression. But when special agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees leads her to believe that this is the work of a calculating and controlled criminal.

 

My thoughts:  Well it seems as if I am working my way through the Alex Kava series and now new Ryder Creed series  . . .

This is another great novel in the wonderful Maggie O’Dell series.  Main character Maggie O’Dell is of course fabulous . . . fast-paced storyline . . .

I do have one significant complaint about this book – the killer was so entirely obvious I had the book figured out by about a quarter of the way through it, which I never, ever am able to do.  I am in no way the type who ever figures out the mystery before the end, but this one was obvious.  It really was just too obvious and of course took quite a bit away from the book as there were huge holes in the storyline that just made the killer entirely too obvious.

Overall, another great Kava book . .. and I’m off to start Ryder Creed series #2.

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

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