Tag Archives: detective

Book Review – “The Silent Girl” by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles #9)

thesilentgirl  Title:  The silent Girl

Author:  Tess Gerritsen

Series:  Rizzoli & Isles #9

Publisher:  Random House

 

Synopsis (from bn.com):  In the murky shadows of Boston’s Chinatown lies a severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed in black, her head nearly decapitated. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are homicide cop Jane Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel. Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. One woman connected to that massacre is still alive—a mysterious martial arts master who is now the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil. Cracking a crime with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.

 

My thoughts:  One of the reading challenges that I signed up for this year was the Finish the Series Challenge and this Rizzoli & Isles series is one that I identified that I wanted to finish!  It has been quite a while since I finished book #8 in this series – Ice Cold (which incidentally is very, very good as well) – so I embarked on The Silent Girl!  I am so very glad that I came back to this series to finish it up!

I thought this book was fantastic!  I have read the entire Rizzoli & Isles series and I must say, although the others were very good, this one ranks up there as one of my favorites.  I must admit that I was a bit reticent at first as I saw that the book was set in Chinatown, only because a while back I read a book by a completely different author set in a similar location that was very confusing and dragged on.  Not the case with this book!

In true Rizzoli & Isles style, this book featured excitement, suspense, twisting storylines, and great characters!  This book had our favorite characters Rizzoli, Isles, Frost, Gabriel, and the like, but also introduced us to some new characters including Officer Tam that I am hopeful will be featured in future books as well.

The only small question I had about this book was why Isles wasn’t very prominently featured as she normally is.  It seemed her character really took a back seat to Rizzoli in this book and by the end I was wondering where in the world Isles even was.  Perhaps it is simply because the last book – Ice Cold – really featured Isles and now it was Rizzoli’s turn 🙂  I do like when they are both working together and you get to see their great friendship and sense of camaraderie.

Completely not related to the quality of the book per se, but reading this book reminded me why I always like reading the books before I go to see a movie or watch the television show!   As a true fan of this series, I of course have watched the Rizzoli & Isles TV series on TNT and now when I read the books I simply can’t stop from imagining Angie Harmon or Sasha Alexander delivering the lines!  I must say that their characterizations on the TV show are spot on, which is not often the case.

Overall, a great, fast read filled with suspense, mystery, fast-paced action, and interesting character twists!  A must read!

And remember

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review – “Sleep No More” by Iris Johansen (Eve Duncan Series #12)

sleepnomore  Title:  Sleep No More (Eve Duncan Series #12)

Author:  Iris Johansen

Synopsis:

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan knows what it’s like to be haunted by the past.  For years after her daughter Bonnie was stolen from her, she fought for closure.  But now as she’s striving to begin anew, she can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen—or maybe already has.  When her mother, Sandra, asks for help in finding a missing friend named Beth Avery, Eve is sure that she’s hiding something.  It’s odd that Sandra would get involved at all, and the fact that she adamantly refuses to go to the police for help reinforces Eve’s suspicions that something is very wrong.

Eve learns that Beth has been locked away in a mental hospital for years, which makes it even harder to understand how she could have disappeared. As Sandra reluctantly reveals small pieces of the truth about Beth’s identity, Eve is shocked to discover that their lives are strangely entwined, and Beth’s disappearance now puts them all in grave danger.

Desperate, Eve enlists a secret weapon to pick up Beth’s trail:  rogue profiler, Kendra Michaels. With an uncanny ability to detect clues and solve puzzles, Kendra begins to uncover the bizarre circumstances of Beth’s escape from what should have been the safety of her hospital room. Beth is on the run, and as her mind clears—detoxing from the drugs that have held her prisoner—she begins to see the threads of a twisted plot within the powerful Avery family, threatening to destroy Beth and anyone else who might jeopardize the high-stakes game that is already in play.

My thoughts:  Welcome to the 12th installment of Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series which chronicles the life and work of Eve, a forensic sculptor.  Overall, I really enjoy this series and really enjoyed this book.  My only huge complaint with this book is the author’s clear lack of research about what a music therapist is which I will go more into below.

This book was definitely a fast read for me.  As someone who has read this entire series including the Bonnie, Eve, Joe trilogy in between, I am very happy that we have finally solved the Bonnie issue and that the author is moving on.  I felt the series was just getting bogged down by the the “who killed Bonnie?” storyline and was losing its excitement.  Bonnie was certainly still mentioned and a part of this book, but certainly not to the level as past books.  I was glad that the author started introducing some new charachters in this book as well including Beth Avery, Eve’s half-sister who was unknown until this book.  I see this storyline developing in future books.  This book also introduces us to Kendra Michaels, a music therapist, who has special sensory abilities since being cured of her 20 year blindness.  I did not know that Kendra was actually introduced in another book, Close to You, I believe.  Had I known this I definitely would have read this first to get to know her better.  I see the author breaking off to another series starring Kendra in the future as well as she did with the character of Catherine Ling.   These new characters are exciting to me and am looking forward to how they are incorporated into future books in the series.

Now that we have taken care of the Bonnie situation, I am wishing that the Eve Duncan books would go a bit more back to focusing on her forensic sculpting cases.  I know this is why I fell in love with this series reading about how she did a reconstruction and the case that developed from this missing person.  The series seems to have drifted away from this which is disappointing.

Now, all that being said, I have to comment on my huge frustration with the author’s clear lack of research on music therapy and music therapists.  Yes, I myself actually am a board certified music therapist (MT-BC) who works with patients in a hospital setting, so I know what I am talking about.  Yes, this makes me a bit more in tune with this issue, but I think authors have a responsiblity to research and characterize people correctly.  Music therapists and music therapy as a field is already highly misunderstood in the world, so mischaracterizations in popular media is not helpful.  So here goes my education and advocacy for all who care.  The author fell right into some common misconceptions about music therapy throughout the book.  It seems that this charachter Kendra, a music therapist, has all sorts of education in psychology, etc. (PhDs), but no formal education in music therapy specifically.  Yes indeed to be a music therapist you must actuallly study and get a degree in Music Therapy, not simply related fields.  A very small point, I  know, but it bugs me.  Also the author committed a carnal sin in the music therapy world by having one of her characters refer to Kendra as a “musical therapist”.  This phrase drives us MUSIC therapists crazy, it is music therapy, not musical therapy.  This book doesn’t really talk much about Kendra’s clinical work, which is fine, but also which brings up the question for me, why did she even make this character a music therapist?  It seems out of place since her work in this area is not at all important to the book.  Was it because music therapy has been more in the media lately with Gabby Giffords, etc?  Does she know a music therapist in real life?  Did she want to jump on the band wagon on other popular authors having characters in their books who were music therapists, i.e., Jodi Picoult in “Sing You Home”, who by the way did a FANTASTIC job of realistically portraying a music therapist?  I don’t know the answer, but if you aren’t going to do the research, don’t put it into your book.  Ok, I’m off of my Music Therapy education and advocacy soap box . . . for now 🙂

Overall, a strong offering in the Eve Duncan series.  Can’t wait for the next ones to come out in 2013!

Happy reading,

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

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Book Review – “What Doesn’t Kill You” by Iris Johansen (Catherine Ling series #2)

whatdoesntkillyou  Title:  What Doesn’t Kill You (Catherine Ling series #2)

Author:  Iris Johansen

ISBN:  9780312651299

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis (from bn.com):  

In this breathtaking thriller, number-one bestselling author Iris Johansen showcases one of her most fascinating characters—pitted against one of the most ruthless killers…

 Abandoned on the streets of Hong Kong, Catherine Ling was schooled in the art of survival by the mysterious Hu Chang, a master assassin and poisoner. Now recruited by the CIA, Catherine finds herself caught between worlds when her mentor develops a formula that is extremely fatal, virtually untraceable—and highly coveted. On the hunt for this prize are a rogue operative, a band of criminals, and a man so evil he kills without remorse. Catherine will do anything to protect those she loves: Hu Chang and her son Luke. But she will have to use every deadly weapon, every double cross, every lethal lesson she ever learned—to prove that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

My thoughts:

I absolutely flew through this book.  This is sort of a series within a series.  What I mean by that is that this is a spin-off series  of the Iris Johansen Eve Duncan series.  We were first introduced to the character of Catherine Ling in the book Chasing the Night (2010), where Eve was working to find Catherine’s missing son, Luke!  And now . . . she has her own series which is very awesome.  Let’s be real, Catherine is a serious bad ass which is why I love her character so much.  She is a strong, empowered, ruthless, no nonsense CIA agent who doesn’t take no for an answer!  Go Catherine!

This book was dramatic, very fast-paced and really held your attention no matter what.  This book really gave the reader the very important background information and development of the character of Catherine, from her life as an orphan on the rough streets of Hong Kong, to the development of her relationship with Hu Chang, to her role in the CIA.  I hope that this character development means that there will be many more books in this series.

I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and really do love the series, but I do have to admit that it is nice to get away from the whole Eve/Bonnie storyline that frankly went on too long.  Catherine is almost entirely opposite from the more mild-mannered Eve Duncan.  There are many crossover characters between the two series which creates a wonderful connection for the reader!

I strongly recommend this Catherine Ling series . . . go get your hands on Chasing the Night (2010), then read this one and you are all set!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review – “Kill Alex Cross” by James Patterson (Alex Cross Series #18)

  Title:  Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross Series #18)

Author:  James Patterson

Synopsis (from bn.com): The only way Detective Alex Cross is one of the first on the scene of the biggest case he’s ever been part of. The President’s son and daughter have been abducted from their school – an impossible crime, but somehow the kidnapper has done it. Alex does everything he can but is shunted to the fringes of the investigation. Someone powerful doesn’t want Cross too close. To stop Alex Cross A deadly contagion in the DC water supply threatens to cripple the capital, and Alex sees the looming shape of the most devastating attack the United States has ever experienced. He is already working flat-out on the abduction, and this massive assault pushes Cross completely over the edge. Is to kill him With each hour that passes, the chance of finding the children alive diminishes. In an emotional private meeting, the First Lady asks Alex to please save her kids. Even the highest security clearance doesn’t get him any closer to the kidnapper – and Alex makes a desperate decision that goes against everything he believes. A full-throttle thriller with unstoppable action, unrestrained emotion, and relentless suspense, Kill Alex Cross is the most gripping Alex Cross novel James Patterson has ever written.

 

My thoughts:  I LOVED this book!  Alex Cross is back in his 18th book in this series and in all honesty I just can’t get enough of this series.  I read this book in a day and can almost guarnantee that all my James Patterson books will be read in a couple sittings – they are that good.

In this latest installment of the Alex Cross series, Alex is on the case of the President of the United States two missing children.  Are they still alive or has it been simply too long?  Meanwhile, someone has poisoned the District’s water supply and there seems to be a terrorist cell on the move in Washington.    I thought the book was fast-pased and exciting, although I do wish that a couple of the story lines would have fit together and played off of one another rather than standing on their own.  I have read quite a few reviews about the Alex Cross series and I see many feel they are getting repetitive and boring.  I think the series is just as exciting as ever and I will definitely be back for more!

If you haven’t embarked on the Alex Cross series – DO IT!  You won’t regret it.

This book definitely qualifies as an excellent plane read – fast and exciting!

Happy reading,

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review – Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)

Title:  The Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
ISBN:  0446613444
Format: ebook


Synopsis (from BN.com):  Narcotics officer Cal Moore’s orders were to look into the city’s latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket. Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don’t look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry’s making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the center of a complex and deadly game-one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.


My thoughts:  I am loving this Harry Bosch series – they have become my go to ebooks while on the elliptical in the gym!  In this second book in the series, hard-core cop Harry Bosch sets out to investigate the death of narcotics officer Cal Moore.  As the invetigation gets heated, things are of course not what they seem. 


The book takes you on an exciting journey from the streets of LA to the drug wars of Mexico!  The characters are real, the story fast and intriguing with plenty of police corruption, twists, and turns to keep things interesting!  This book also lays out Harry Bosch’s connection to Defense Attorney Micky Haller (from Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer).


This series is worth a read!  I’m moving quickly on to #3 Concrete Blonde!


My Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!!!!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Michael Connelly, Mystery

Book Review – Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1)

Title:  The Black Echo
Author:  Michael Connelly
ISBN:  0446612731
Format: ebook
Synopsis (from BN.com):  For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal…because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam “tunnel rat” who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

 

 
My thoughts:  I got interested in reading this Harry Bosch series after seeing the Lincoln Lawyer a while back.  I am glad I started it.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.  Harry Bosch, a hard-core, maverick, in your face LAPD homicide detective tries to solve the case of a body found in a drainpipe.  The case brings back his days as a tunnel rat in Vietnam.
Of course, there are some stereotypical traits to some of the characters, particularly Harry Bosch – hard-core, sketchy past involving Internal Affairs, rule-breaker, with many demons in his past.  This didn’t get in the way for me.  I still found the characters real, edgy, and likable. 
I have started the second in the series, Black Ice, and look forward to reading the rest of the series. 
Enjoy!!

 
Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

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Book Review – Crossfire by James Patterson

Title:  Crossfire (Alex Cross #17)
Author:  James Patterson
Pages:  356
Publisher: Little Brown & Co
ISBN:  031603617x


Synopsis (from BN.com): 
Wedding bells ring
Detective Alex Cross and Bree’s wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.’s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories—is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?
A murderer returns
The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims’ movements—information that only a Washington insider could possess.
Caught in a lethal cross fire
As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson’s most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.


My thoughts:  Crossfire is the 17th installment in the ever popular Alex Cross series.  I have read every single Alex Cross book and absolutely love them.  That being said, Crossfire did fall a little flat for me.  The cover of the book provides us the teaser of “Alex Cross gets married and Kyle Craig is back!” Anyone who has read the Cross books knows the story of Kyle Craig and I was one who was excited to see what new suspense and drama this series would take now that he was back.  In all honesty, the Kyle Craig plot literally left me saying “What?!  That was it!  How did we get there?”  I was left wanting more and not in a good way. 


I felt like the storylines in this book took huge leaps at times while not providing any excitement along the way.  I found it boring and quite predictable at times.  Crossfire didn’t provide me the excitement and suspense that I have come to love in James Patterson’s novels.  I hate to think that now that James Patterson has multiple series going including the Women’s Murder Club series and a number of young adult series that he is letting the steam out of Alex Cross! 


Of course, being a fan of the Alex Cross series, I will read whatever book #18 holds. 


Overall, I expected more from Crossfire than what it delivered.


My rating:  : )  : )  : )  It was ok!


And remember,
Books Are Life,
Heather

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, James Patterson, Mystery