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What Are We Reading and Reviewing in June?

Mystery and Suspense

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May 24, 2018, 9:57am Top

This is the place to let everyone know the books you are reading this month, and then to leave reviews of these books. You can put up a list of the books you are reading for the month or put a post about a book as you start it, or even both.

A review can be something as simple as a sentence about the book or as comprehensive as you want to make it - whatever is good for you. Our love of books is the reason we are all here.

Edited: Jun 27, 2018, 6:54am Top

Carol's June Reads
✔ 6//18 -★

Group Reads:
Piranha by Clive Cussler - 6/5/18 - 4★
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths - 6/19/18 - 5★

Blind Date With A Book;
The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner - 6/10/18 - 4★

Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson - 6/14/18 - 4.5★
The Fallen by David Baldacci - 6/9/18 - 4.5★
Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin - 6/14/18 -4★
Collecting The Dead by Spencer Kope - 6/24/18 - 3.5★
Perish by Lisa Black - 6/21/18 - 3★
The Outsider by Stephen King - 6/5/18 - 5★
Twisted Prey by John Sandford - 6//18 -★
The She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell -6//18 -★
Broken Harbor by Tana French - 6//18 -★
American Fire by Monica Hesse- 6/5/18 -4★
The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh - 6/17/18 - 5★
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - 6/12/18 - 4★
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James - 6//18 -★
The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston - 6/20/18 - 3.5★
Turbulence by Stuart Woods - 6//18 -★
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics -6/26/18 - 4★

Edited: Jul 1, 2018, 7:13pm Top

June 2018
✔ ★ ☞ ☊

Finished Reading June 2018
✔☊Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - 282 pgs. - ★★★ - 6/1/2018
Sovereign by C. J. Sansom - 584 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/2/2018
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - 320 pgs. - ★★★ - 6/5/2018
✔☊A Separate Peace by John Knowles - 204 pgs. - ★★★★ - 6/6/2018
✔☊Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison - 422 pgs. - ★★★★ - 6/6/2018
✔☊The Outsider by Stephen King - 576 pgs. - ★★ - 6/11/2018
A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo - 308 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/12/2018
✔☊Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison - 581 pgs. - ★★★★ - 6/12/2018
✔☊Where the Red Ferns Grow by Wilson Rawls - 272 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/14/2018
✔☊The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - 288 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/14/2018
The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy - 336 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/18/2018
✔The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths - 360 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/19/2018
Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas - 400 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/20/2018
The Godfather by Mario Puzo - 448 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/21/2018
The Martian by Andy Weir - 369 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/22/2018
✔☊Ghost by Jason Reynolds - 208 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/23/2018
✔☊Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - 320 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/23/2018
✔☊The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King - 400 pgs - ★★★★ - 6/23/2018
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman - 448 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/23/2018
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - 96 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/24/2018
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - 384 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/27/2018
✔☊ War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - 1392 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/30/2018
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly - 392 pgs. - ★★★★ - 6/30/2018

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 10:20pm Top

Lynda and Oliver's June Reading Plan

Blood Safari - Deon Meyer - 4 Stars - 6/9/18
Book of Speculation - Erika Swyler
Chalk Pit - Elly Griffiths - 4.5 Stars - 6/19/18
Come Sundown - Nora Roberts
Dead If You Don't - Peter James - 4.5 Stars - 6/7/18
Dying Truth - Angela Marsons - 5 Stars - 6/12/18
Enchanted Castle - Marc Secchia - 3.5 Stars - 6/2/18
Escape Artist - Brad Meltzer - 3.5 Stars - 6/21/18
Force of Nature - Jane Harler - 4.5 Stars - 6/3/18
Girl in the Red Coat - Kate Hamer - 3 Stars - 6/16/18
Girl Who Disappeared Twice - Andrea Kane - 4 Stars - 6/17/18
Hour of the Hunter - J. A. Jance - 3.5 Stars - 6/23/18
Identicals - Erin Hildebrand - 3.5 Stars - 6/10/18
Money Kill - Katia Lief - 3.5 Stars - 6/15/18
Mother Night - Kurt Vonnegut - 4 Stars - 6/4/18
Night of the Living Deed - E. J. Copperman - 3.5 Stars - 6/22/18
Nightfall Over Shanghai - Daniel Kalla
Operation Turtle Ransom - Kimberli Bindschatel - 2.5 Stars 6/18/18
Out of the Sun - Robert Goddard - 4 Stars - 6/14/18
Piranha - Oregon Files - Clive Cussler - 4 Stars - 10/5/19
Third Degree - Greg Iles - 3 Stars - 6/19/18
Undercover Princess - Suzanne Brockman - 2 Stars - 6/11/18
World of Trouble - Ben H. Winters - 4.5 Stars - 6/13/18

May 27, 2018, 6:09pm Top

Unfortunately not able to do the Group Read of Why Mermaids Sing by C S Harris. None of the libraries have it, not available as an e-book and has had to be ordered from the US. Also still not been able to get hold of Walking By Night - people who have the two copies still haven’t returned them to the library! 😡

I suggest we advance the next two Group Reads for June with the following schedule :

1. Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison, #10 in the Oregon Files Series - start Friday 1st June

2. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, #9 in the Ruth Galloway Series - start date Friday 15th June

Then when I can get hold of the two outstanding group reads we will look to schedule them. Apologies for the delay on these!

May 27, 2018, 6:10pm Top

>4 Olivermagnus: Hoping to Read Dead if You Don’t this week.

May 29, 2018, 4:43pm Top

Gayle's June List

Impact by Douglas Preston - sub-genre: conspiracy
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths - group read
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Desert Lost by Betty Webb
Winter of the World by Ken Follett - I started this last month and am about halfway through - it's over 900 pages! But I am enjoying it and will continue on.

May 29, 2018, 5:31pm Top

>7 gaylebutz: I really liked The Woman in the Window. I'll be looking forward to your review.

Edited: May 30, 2018, 8:53pm Top

>7 gaylebutz: - I just read Desert Noir by Betty Webb and thought it was a fun series so I'm planning to read the next one soon. I liked The Woman in the Window too and thought it was a great audio. I read the Century Trilogy in 2016 and Winter of the World was my favorite volume.

Edited: May 30, 2018, 8:53pm Top

>2 Carol420: - I always look forward to the new Prey book. I read that and The Fallen in May and they were both good. I'm on the fence on Ms. Westaway. None of her books have grabbed me since In a Dark Dark Wood.

Edited: May 30, 2018, 8:54pm Top

>3 EadieB: - I am a huge fan of Matthew Shardlake. I'm hoping Sansom has another one soon. Watchers is one of my very favorite book of "all times" and I've never recommended it to anyone who didn't love it. I may have to do a reread this year.

May 30, 2018, 8:52pm Top

>6 Andrew-theQM: - I just got a notification from the library that my audio is ready so hopefully I can start it in the next couple of days. I can't wait to see what happens after the ominous ending of the last one.

May 31, 2018, 5:39am Top

>11 Olivermagnus: I am looking forward to Watchers and reading it for The Great American Read list. Did you see the pbs special where they are going to pick the book from the list in October that will be The Great American Read. You can also vote online for your favorites on the list.

I'm really enjoying Sovereign and Shardlake. It reads faster than the first two.

Edited: Jun 1, 2018, 5:34am Top

Schedule for the Group Read of Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison :

Friday 1st June : Prologue and Chapters 1 - 7
Saturday 2nd June : Chapters 8 - 19
Sunday 3rd June : Chapters 20 - 29
Monday 4th June : Chapters 30 - 38
Tuesday 5th June : Chapters 39 - 48 and Epilogue

Edited: Jun 1, 2018, 5:27am Top

Provisional Reads for June:

Group Reads
Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

Other Reads
Sovereign by C J Sansom
Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn
The Dark Tower : The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
The Sword Of God By John Milton
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay
Now You See Me by S J Bolton
The Killing Room by Peter May
Dead Gone by Luca Veste
Hot Blood by Stephen Leather
The Fallen by David Baldacci
The Library Of Gold by Gayle Lynds
The Assassins by Gayle Lynds
The Visitor by Jane Goodall
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 6:11am Top

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - 282 pgs. - ★★★
This is a story of three generation from Civil War to the 20th century. Basically a pastor father speaking to his son of the spiritual battles of the American life. Robinson is a gifted writer with beautiful lyrical prose about love and forgiveness. It's not a book that not everyone would love as it is a lot of religious philosophizing. It's not a book with a plot or a real storyline so if that's what you are looking for, this book is not for you. I found it enjoyable in some areas but a bit boring in others.

Edited: Jun 5, 2018, 8:06pm Top

Sovereign by C. J. Sansom - 583 pgs. - ★★★★★
This is the 3rd book of the Shardlake series and my favorite so far. King Henry VIII and his 5th wife, Catherine Howard progress from London to York. Shardlake and Barak are transporting a conspirator from York to London and come across a secret concerning the monarchy. Someone is attempting to kill Shardlake to protect the secret. This was a very hard to put down book with excellent plot, characters and intrigue. I would highly recommend this series to those who love to read about 16th century Tudor England.

Jun 4, 2018, 5:22pm Top

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline
3.5 ★

Lisa Scottoline is a mystery writer. She and her daughter also write a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer called Chick Wit. This book is a collection of those columns plus a few new ones. They are humorous and sometimes touching, covering quite a variety of everyday topics like wearing spanks, chicken farming and making unresolutions. This was a light and amusing book, read by the author and I enjoyed it.

Edited: Jun 5, 2018, 9:14am Top

>18 gaylebutz: LOL! I love the title! I know some people whose first and second husbands could have also fit the canine category...so she may not be the warm, cuddly, little guy she is expecting or hoping for:)

Jun 5, 2018, 9:51am Top

The Outsider by Stephen King
5 ★

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge.

Can someone be in two places at once? Before you say "no way", stop and think about the author that is trying to convince you of this. This is the man that presented us with nightmares about a killer clown that lives in the sewer (It), a disturbed young girls that used her powers to destroy an entire town and the people that tormented her (Carrie), that sometimes "dead is better'...a lesson that we learned as dead pets and eventually people returned, (Pet Sementary), various werewolves and vampires make appearances along his literary path...so this should not be too difficult for a Stephan King fan to buy into. Creepy and disturbing barely begin to describe "The Outsider. Once you start on this journey you won't be able to stop until you reach page 560..the end. Fans will also recognize and welcome back some of the characters from "The Mercedes Trilogy". I have to agree with the one reviewer that wrote "More than merely horror...this story will take you on an incredible ride through places you otherwise dare not go."

Edited: Jun 6, 2018, 9:40pm Top

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - 320 pgs. - ★★★
I found the characters aggravating. Story is told in first person accounts and letters by Roy, Celestial and Andre. Roy is unjustly incarcerated. His wife, Celestial, spends time with Andre while Roy is away. A love triangle is formed when Roy is released. Roy was arrogant, Celestial was selfish and they never should have married. Why did Andre introduce Roy to Celestial if he was in love with her? Read and see how you feel about this book.

Jun 6, 2018, 10:58am Top

American Fire by Monica Hesse

The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to survey them all. Accomack County, Virginia was desolate―there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning.

I liked this story much more than I thought I would when I picked the book up because it fit a category of a challenge. The story really isn't the fires as much as it's a story of a rural community that has fallen on drastically devastating hard times with irrational behavior thrown into the smoldering pot. The author does a fantastic job of presenting a vivid picture of the situation. A visit to Accomack County, Virginia is not necessary in order to picture what life had become there. You didn't have to met Charlie to know who he is. What could be a straightforward story about a series of fires in this rural area suddenly becomes a story about the very souls of the people that lived through it.

Edited: Jun 6, 2018, 9:48pm Top

A Separate Peace by John Knowles - 204 pgs. - ★★★★
A classic that young and old can relate to. Gene and Phineas attend a boarding school in New England during WWII and become friends. Gene betrays Phineas out of jealousy and rivalry. Years later Gene is still trying to forgive himself as he recognizes the evil of the dark side of adolescence and the consequences of his jealousy. Book teaches a lesson about how boys can become both rivals and intimate friends but need to be wary of each other.

Edited: Jun 11, 2018, 10:17am Top

Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison - 422 pgs. - ★★★★
Co-authored with Boyd Morrison which gave the book a different feeling. Lacked action and suspense in the beginning but picked up in the end. Love the Oregon crew members and the plot was good but I found the special telescope to be unbelievable. Looking forward to the next installment. These are fun adventure reads with great humor. Some history involved in the storylines.

Edited: Jun 7, 2018, 6:54am Top

Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
Oregon Files series Book #10

In 1902, the volcano Mt. Pelée erupts on the island of Martinique, wiping out an entire city of thirty thousand—and sinking a ship carrying a German scientist on the verge of an astonishing breakthrough. More than a century later, Juan Cabrillo will have to deal with that scientist’s legacy. During a covert operation, Cabrillo and the crew meticulously fake the sinking of the Oregon—but when an unknown adversary tracks them down despite their planning and attempts to assassinate them, Cabrillo and his team struggle to fight back against an enemy who seems to be able to anticipate their every move. They discover that a traitorous American weapons designer has completed the German scientist’s work, and now wields extraordinary power, sending the Oregon on a race against time to stop an attack that could lead to one man ruling over the largest empire the world has ever known.

The first nine books in this series were written by two different authors. This seems to be the growing trend of well know, well read authors these days but it sometimes takes the reader a few books to get accustomed to the different writing styles...hoping that yet another author won't come on the scene before the next book even gets published. Some reviewers have said that the topic was unbelievable but it is...thank heavens...fiction and the unbelievable can be given a little free reign. I really like this series...Juan Carbillo and the magnificent wonders of his ship, "The Oregon". Adventure, excitement, with a little history thrown in the mix, is always a given no matter who writes these books. Pick it up and enjoy the ride.

Jun 8, 2018, 12:53pm Top

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
#4 Cotton Malone dried
3.5 ⭐️

Cotton Malone lost his Dad when he was 10 years old. His father, Forest Malone was the Captain of an experimental 11 man submarine called NA-1. It was lost at sea in 1971. Cotton wanted to find out what had really happened to his Dad. To that end, he contacted the head of the super classified Magellan Billet and his friend Stephanie who directed the group. She sent him secret documents that alluded to the sub having actually been lost in the Antarctic rather than the Artic. In a round about manner, this brought Cotton to the Charlemagne Persuit. Twin German sisters are searching for their father who also was aboard the NR-1 sub, but he was a researcher. He was researching a lost Aryan civilization which he tracked to the Antarctic via a book which was buried with Charlemagne. Meanwhile, a US Navy admiral is tying up loose ends as he pursues an appointment to head the Joint Chief of Staffs. Cotton and company seem to be among those loose ends.

An enjoyable fast paced read with many twists and turns.

Jun 10, 2018, 10:00am Top

The Fallen by David Baldacci
Memory Man series (Amos Decker) Book #4
4.5 ★

Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes--obscure bible verses, odd symbols--have the police stumped. Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex's sister and her family. It's a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has only been there a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene. Then the next killing hits sickeningly close to home. And with the lives of people he cares about suddenly hanging in the balance, Decker begins to realize that the recent string of deaths may be only one small piece of a much larger scheme--with consequences that will reach far beyond Baronville. Decker, with his singular talents, may be the only one who can crack this bizarre case. Only this time--when one mistake could cost him everything--Decker finds that his previously infallible memory may not be so trustworthy after all.

Amos Decker is one of the most unusual detectives...maybe one of the most unusual persons, that any author has ever dreamed up. Like all of Baldacci's novels,you just don't want it to end. We learned by the ending...which was beautiful in spite of being on the sad side...that Decker has a soft side. One of the things I realized from being a long time fan of David Baldacci is that his wonderful series have a habit of only containing 5 or 6 books and this is Decker's # 4 not to mention that a new series is starting later this year. I hope this isn't "the beginning of the end" for Amos. I hate that this author makes us love them and then we lose them.

Jun 10, 2018, 10:57am Top

Excited to get to The Chalk Pit on Friday with the Group Read. Will be great to get back to the Ruth Galloway series.

Edited: Jun 10, 2018, 2:11pm Top

The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner
Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book #1
4 ★

London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the young woman leads to murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, he struggles with his transition from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.

Along the way Captain Lacey is forced to face many of the demons from his own past in order to get at the truth. I found the book to be a well written mystery. The solution isn't "in your face" obvious and the interactions between the characters was certainly interesting. Captain Lacey, himself, is a tragic figure and in parts of the book I couldn't help but wonder if he wasn't his own worst enemy. Despite that, he is very sympathetic and definitely worth rooting for. I would certainly read more of his adventures, especially if there is some hint that he manages to find some happiness along the

Edited: Jun 12, 2018, 12:05pm Top

✔☊The Outsider by Stephen King - 576 pgs. - ★★ - 6/11/2018
I'm a Stephen King fan but this book was a disappointment to me. I liked the first 200 pages but after that it went off into an unbelievable tangent and really got boring. I do not enjoy authors who put their political views into the story. Major turnoff. I honestly believe that this book is authored by Harlan Coben as he is frequently mentioned in the book. This writing is not Stephen King's. Read King's older books if you want the real King.

Jun 11, 2018, 3:29pm Top

>30 EadieB: Good Old Harlan! That is a disappointing review!

Jun 11, 2018, 4:20pm Top

>31 Andrew-theQM: I'm not sure Harlan wrote this but I can't believe that Steven King wrote it either. He seems to be getting lazy in his writing and not being his creative self.

Jun 11, 2018, 5:51pm Top

>32 EadieB: That’s a real shame although up to press only read three Stephen King books : 11.22.63, Joyland and The Dark Tower : The Gunslinger, Hope to start The Drawing Of The Three this week. Finding The Dark Tower series intriguing : Tolkien style epic meets western, although only really started what feels like a prologue with the first book.

Jun 11, 2018, 6:25pm Top

>33 Andrew-theQM: The Drawing of the Three is more interesting than The Gunslinger. You should read The Shining. That one is really good.

Jun 11, 2018, 7:26pm Top

>34 EadieB: I’ve always tended to avoid horror, is it horror?

Edited: Jun 11, 2018, 8:16pm Top

>35 Andrew-theQM: Yes it is but the thrillers we read are worst than the horror in The Shining. It more like supernatural. It is also on the 1001 book list.

Jun 12, 2018, 5:55am Top

>35 Andrew-theQM: Watch the DVD if you don't like reading about these things...but >36 EadieB: is right...I wouldn't call it horror...it's supernatural.

Jun 12, 2018, 10:08am Top

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

This book was very readable and the characters were human and mostly likable. A good comparison would perhaps be to her book 'In the Deep Dark Woods'. It's a complicated twisty mystery with a sharp heroine that you have to feel some sympathy for and has you hoping throughout the book that she'll win in the end. She has walked into a family with secrets...a grandmother that she knew noting about...and a secret fortune. Overall it's an intriguing story that keeps you reading as any good book should.

Edited: Jun 12, 2018, 2:59pm Top

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo - 308 pgs. - ★★★★★
I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced reader's copy for an honest review.

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo is the 10th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I have read all the books to date and have found them all to be intriguing mysteries. The books are an interesting look at the Amish life in Painters Mill. Kate Burkholder used to belong to the Amish community but she is now the current Chief of Police. The Amish are not always trusting of the police but Kate understands this. She tries to make them feel at ease while questioning them about the arson murder of eighteen-year-old Danny Gingrich. Kate has some demons that haunt her from an experience when she was younger and the death of Danny Gingrich brings back some of those feelings from the past. What are the Amish hiding and why are they hesitant to tell her the truth? Read this book and find out all the secrets that Kate uncovers.

Edited: Jun 18, 2018, 7:33am Top

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison - 581 pgs. - ★★★★
This is a debut novel by Ralph Ellison about what it's like to grow up as a black man in mid-century America. It has many experiences that show how blacks are treated just because they are black. This book should not be confused with H.G. Wells book where the invisible man was actually invisible. Race is what will keep this black man in his permanent underclass status thus denying him his humanity. It is a powerful read and should not be missed.

Jun 12, 2018, 3:08pm Top

>36 EadieB: >37 Carol420: Based on that May give the book a try! 😊

Jun 12, 2018, 5:01pm Top

>41 Andrew-theQM: It's about ghosts - you won't find me reading it...!

Edited: Jun 13, 2018, 12:53pm Top

Death of an Honest Man by M. C. Beaton
★ ★ ★ 1/2 - 244 pages

Paul English, a newcomer to the village of Cnothan, prides himself on his honesty; in reality. he is not so much honest as blunt and rude. So when he winds up missing, there are several suspects, including his shady housekeeper and her daughter, the minister, and helpful nurse. Hamish McBeth must solve this case before Chief Inspector Blair figures out what happened.

Another ho-hum entry into the series. The mystery isn't very challenging and much is made about spirits and their connection to a cat which Hamish thinks is Sonsie.

Jun 13, 2018, 6:20am Top

>41 Andrew-theQM: >42 Sergeirocks: There are some ghosts but it's more about possession.

Jun 13, 2018, 1:31pm Top

Impact by Douglas Preston
3.5 ★

Wyman Ford is tapped for a secret expedition to Thailand ... to locate the source of strangely beautiful gemstones that do not appear to be of this world. Meanwhile, a young woman in Maine borrows her father's boat to search the outer islands for the meteorite that lit up the sky in her small town. Also, a scientist at the National Propulsion Facility discovers an inexplicable source of gamma rays in the outer Solar System. He is found decapitated, the data missing. Ford soon realizes the jewel mine he seeks is much more than it seems ... and it is strangely connected to the events happening on the other side of the world.

There was a lot of action and adventure in this story. It was entertaining for the most part. The source of the gamma rays and who wanted to hide the information was an interesting part of the plot. But the part with the young woman in Maine who kept risking her life and her friend’s more than once or twice got to be too much. Still, it kept my interest throughout and I liked the ending. When I went to add this to my books, I found that I had read this back in 2013. I thought some parts seemed vaguely familiar but mostly I had forgotten the story so it was still a good read!

Jun 13, 2018, 3:23pm Top

>45 gaylebutz: Isn't it funny how things repeat themselves and we aren't even aware of it. I've read books that I'd read before and not realized it and found that some I gave two entirely different ratings:)

Jun 13, 2018, 4:59pm Top

>46 Carol420: Ha ha that is funny that you ended with different ratings! And funny that we didn't remember enough to realize we'd read the book before.

Jun 13, 2018, 5:01pm Top

Winter of the World by Ken Follett
4 ★

Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families -- American, German, Russian, English, Welsh -- enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.

This was a family saga that focused mostly on the grown children of the main characters from the first book, which I read. I enjoyed learning about the personal lives of these characters and how they were impacted by all the changes going on. Some of them took great risks to help to defeat the Nazis, Communists or Japanese. The history of the time was more interesting to me as seen from the personal perspective of these characters. I thought the 2nd half of the book was better than the first but I enjoyed it all.

Jun 13, 2018, 5:08pm Top

>48 gaylebutz: I totally loved this whole trilogy but book one and three were my favourite, and b cause the history was so recent wasn’t really looking forward to book 3!

Edited: Jun 15, 2018, 11:02am Top

Where the Red Ferns Grow by Wilson Rawls - 272 pgs. - ★★★★★
Captures the powerful bond between man and his best friend. A very good book but very sad in the end. Children and adults will love this story which is an interesting classic.

Jun 14, 2018, 9:01am Top

>50 EadieB: There are two of these on DVD. I like the first one more as it is based entirely on the book.

Jun 14, 2018, 11:58am Top

>49 Andrew-theQM: Interesting that 1 and 3 were favorites. I actually liked this book 2 better than 1, although I liked one also. I'm putting 3 on my list but not sure when I'll get to it - they are soooo big. I've never been that good with my history but mixing history with people's personal lives makes it very interesting.

Jun 14, 2018, 4:35pm Top

>52 gaylebutz: I agree, I did these via audiobooks.

Jun 14, 2018, 4:43pm Top

Schedule for Group Read of The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, #9 in the Ruth Galloway series.

Friday 15th June : Prologue and Chapters 1 - 7
Saturday 16th June : Chapters 8 - 14
Sunday 17th June : Chapters 15 - 20
Monday 18th June : Chapters 21 - 24
Tuesday 19th June : Chapters 25 - 29 and Epilogue

Jun 15, 2018, 8:55am Top

Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson
Tony Lord Book #2
4.5 ★

After the murder of his high school sweetheart left him shattered, Tony Lord vowed never to return to his Ohio hometown of Lake City. Twenty-eight years later, Tony is a successful California criminal lawyer with a beautiful celebrity wife. He's living the good life…until long-buried memories come crashing down when he hears from an old friend, who needs his help.

Sam Robb is a track coach at Lake City High. He swears he is not responsible for the death of one of his female team members. After the murder of his high school sweetheart left him shattered, Tony Lord vowed never to return to his Ohio hometown of Lake City. Twenty-eight years later, Tony is a successful California criminal lawyer with a beautiful celebrity wife. He's living the good life…until long-buried memories come crashing down when he hears from an old friend, Sam Robb...who needs his help. Back when they were teenagers, Sam stood by Tony when he was a suspect in his young girlfriend's murder―and Tony desperately wants to do the same for him today. In doing so, Tony will have to revisit his troubled past and probe the darkest secrets of small-town life to get to the truth. And what he will find is more shocking than he ever could have imagined.

I had never read a Richard North Patterson novel before...but am so glad that this one caught my eye. His work is outstanding. So much so that I believe he will join the ranks of my favorite mystery writers. I really enjoyed the book. The story was well told making it a "page turner" I had worked out who had probably committed the crime before the end but still was surprised by some of the evidence. Anyone that likes a good mystery along with some court room drama will really like this book.

Jun 15, 2018, 11:03am Top

✔The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - 288 pgs. - ★★★★★ - 6/14/2018
Finished the audio of this beautiful story of 4 Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco who form The Joy Luck Cub. 40 years later story and history continue. Amy Tan examines deep connections between mothers and daughters. A very moving account and a true classic. Sad but story ends on a very positive note.

Jun 16, 2018, 4:35pm Top

Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin
Inspector Rebus series Book #21

As he settles into an uneasy retirement, Rebus has given up his favorite vices. There's just one habit he can't shake: he can't let go of an unsolved case. It's the only pastime he has left, and up until now, it's the only one that wasn't threatening to kill him. But when Rebus starts reexamining the facts behind the long-ago murder of a glamorous woman at a luxurious hotel, the past comes roaring back to life with a vengeance. And as soon as Rebus starts asking questions about the long-forgotten crime, a fresh body materializes. As he connects the mysteries of the past to those of the present, Rebus learns that he's not the only one with an insatiable curiosity about what happened in that hotel room forty years ago, and that someone will stop at nothing to ensure that the crime remains ancient history.

Another visit with one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite cites...Edinburgh. Our Rebus is getting old and starting to slow down and take heath issues more seriously. One of the things that he also takes seriously is unsolved murders...especially those that he was connected with years ago but was taken off of before he could solve them. Some reviewers described Rebus as "the old war horse"...that may be truer than we think but it's good to see that he's not quite ready to hang up his saddle and be put out to pasture. Looking forward to more of Rebus.

Edited: Jun 21, 2018, 10:24am Top

The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy - 336 pgs. - ★★★★★
Gregory Norwood is found with a gun in his hand on the anniversary of his son's death from an overdose of heroin. It appears that Gregory may have committed suicide. Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called in to handle the case. Something is not right and the detectives believe Norwood's death is not suicide. Magozzi calls on Grace MacBride, Monkeewrench Software’s founder and chief computer genius. She and her motley crew of partners begin to unravel connections between Norwood’s death and an even larger plot. Will they find the killer and save hundreds of lives doing so?

This is the 9th installment of the Monkeewrench series by P.J. Tracy and I would have to say the best of the series so far. I have read all the books and would suggest reading them in order as the storyline builds from one book to the next. I find the characters to be very unique and quite interesting. The plot kept the pages turning until the very surprising ending. I look forward to the next installment and I would highly recommend this series to those who love humor with their mysteries.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

Jun 19, 2018, 1:01pm Top

The Celtic Riddle by Lyn Hamilton
#4 An Archeological Mystery
2 1/2 ⭐️

A fair mystery, but not up to the previous 3. I found the Irish myth storytelling to be rather boring. The whole story revolves around the ancient myths of the founding of Ireland. There was not enough of the archeology, as per previous novels, to keep my attention. I could only read this in small spurts, as the Irish legends were not of interest to me. Be that as it may, I did finish the book. Lara McClintoch went to Ireland with her elderly friend Ales and her Canadian Mounted Policeman’s friend Rob and his daughter. Alex was there to hear the reading of a will written by a man Alex knew decades ago in his Merchant Marine Days. Alex inherits a cottage. However all those in the will receive clues to an ancient Celtic treasure. The treasure could be found if all work together. So, Lara and company decide to stay a bit longer. It is a story of treasure, murder, family funding and revenge.

Jun 19, 2018, 5:20pm Top

The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh

Pattie and her family are among the last refugees to flee a dying Earth in an old spaceship. And when the group finally lands on the distant planet which is to be their new home, it seems that the four-year journey has been a success. But as they begin to settle this shiny new world, they discover that the colony is in serious jeopardy. Nothing on this planet is edible, and they may not be able to grow food. With supplies dwindling, Pattie and her sister decide to take the one chance that might make life possible on Shine.

It's a children's book that would be just about perfect for 3 or 4th grade. It was also a book that allowed me to fill in a category for a challenge...so it served a duel purpose. It's an interesting story about modern pioneering with some really cool illustrations. To an adult reader it's a reminder that children can and do make some of the biggest contributions to family and society.

Jun 19, 2018, 7:29pm Top

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway series Book #9

Far below Norwich is a maze of old mining tunnels. When Ruth Galloway is called to examine a set of human remains in one of them, she notices the bones are almost translucent, a sign they were boiled soon after death. Once more, she’s at the helm of a murder investigation. Meanwhile, DCI Nelson is looking for a homeless woman who he hears has gone “underground.” Could she have disappeared into the labyrinth? And if so, is she connected to the body Ruth found? As Ruth and Nelson investigate the tunnels, they hear rumors of secret societies, cannibalism, and ritual killings. And when a dead body is found with a map of what seems to be the full maze, they realize their hunt for the killer has only just begun—and that more bodies may be underfoot.

This series is without a doubt one of the best. They have believable plots as well as characters that grow with each addition, giving the reader more insight into just who they are. That ongoing character evolution is one of the enjoyable aspects of this series. That angle is present here along with plenty of informative history and social commentary. Can't wait to see if the twist at the end means what I think it does.

Jun 20, 2018, 1:08pm Top

The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Gideon Crew series Book #5

Effective Engineering Solutions has been inexplicably shut down and the head of the company, Eli Glinn, has all but vanished. Fresh off a diagnosis that gives him only months to live, Gideon Crew is contacted by one of his coworkers at EES, Manuel Garza, who tells him the two have mere hours to collect their belongings before the office closes forever. After years of dedicated service and several high-risk missions, theirs seems like the most ignoble of terminations-until Gideon and Garza happen upon an incredible discovery. After centuries of silence, a code-breaking machine at EES has cracked the long-awaited translation of a centuries-old stone tablet, the Phaistos Disc, that dates back to an otherwise completely unknown, ancient civilization. The mysteries of the message itself hint at incredible treasures, and perhaps even a world-altering secret. What lies at the end of the trail may save Gideon's life-or bring it to a sudden, shocking close. As Gideon and Garza soon discover, some missions are more dangerous than others. But as Gideon has proved again and again, there's no such thing as too great a risk when you're living on borrowed time.

I never miss an opportunity to indulge in a Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book and when the Gideon Crew series came out a few years ago it seemed to be another "gift" from this pair of talented writers. Gideon is literally running out of time. As the novel opens he has now two months left to live and will do almost anything that would either cure him or give him a little longer. It would also have given the readers a "little longer" but Gideon didn't let us down even with this hanging over his head, The ending felt a little rushed and it didn't take long to know how it would all end...but you gave us a terrific ride Mr. Preston and Mr. Child.

Edited: Jun 20, 2018, 4:57pm Top

Blood Will Tell
April Henry

Point Last Seen series Book #2
Rating: 5/5

When a woman s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a hundred feet away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland s Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?

I absolutely loved this book...this was (most surprisingly) one of my friends' inspiration (the SAR part). Blood, crime, mystery (and 'horror') come into this book.

Jun 20, 2018, 6:49pm Top

>63 AmeliaNB: Nice review. This sounds like something I will like to read. Thank you.

Edited: Jun 20, 2018, 7:17pm Top

>64 Carol420: No Problem :)

Edited: Jun 21, 2018, 10:49am Top

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas - 400 pgs. - ★★★★★
"She can run, but her past won't hide" - Someone else knows her secret!

Did you ever think about doing a house swap? After reading Last See Alive by Claire Douglas, I would definitely think twice about house swapping. This psychological thriller is about power and revenge and held my attention until the very last page. It is a plot-driven story will lots of twists and turns like a roller-coaster ride and a nightmare for all involved. The author's excellent writing kept me guessing until the very end. I read it in one sitting as it was hard-to-put down. This is my first book that I read by Claire Douglas but it won't be my last. I would highly recommend this book to those who love psychological thrillers and I look forward to reading another book by Douglas.

I would like to thank Library Thing and Harper Collins Publishers for an ARC for an honest review.

Edited: Jun 21, 2018, 11:00am Top

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths - 360 pgs. - ★★★★★
Another intriguing read from Elly Griffiths. If you haven't started reading this series, you should start ow. It is one of the best mystery series out there. The characters are very interesting and a few are quite unique. I'm looking forward to the next one as the storylines of the characters are heating up with some hot relationship issues.

Jun 21, 2018, 11:11am Top

The Godfather by Mario Puzo - 448 pgs. - ★★★★★
This is a definite classic and shows the workings of the mafia. I never read the book before but I have seen the movie. Who could forget the dead horse's head in the bed? I enjoyed the book for all the extra information that was not in the movie. I listened to the audio and enjoyed it very much. If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for?

Jun 21, 2018, 12:06pm Top

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
★ ★ ★ 1/2 - 338 pages

Melanie Middleton is a high-powered real estate agent in Charleston, South Carolina, selling historic older homes. She also sees ghosts. When elderly Nevin Vanderhorst dies and leaves her his crumbling old house, she also inherits a few mysteries. What happened to Nevin Vanderhorst's mother, Louisa? Did she really run off with bootlegger Joseph Longo? What is Marc Longo's real interest in her? Why is Jack Trenholm so keen on helping her? Melanie finds she needs to make peace with her alcoholic father and maybe figure out why her mother left so many years ago.

As far as mysteries go, who the ghosts were and what they wanted was pretty obvious. I also thought it was pretty obvious where some of the secrets were buried. Melanie seemed to overlook a lot of the obvious (at a few points, I had her pegged as TSTL) but in the end this was a satisfying read.

Jun 21, 2018, 3:49pm Top

Perish by Lisa Black
Gardiner & Renner series Book #3

The scene of the crime is lavish but gruesome. In a luxurious mansion on the outskirts of Cleveland, a woman’s body lies gutted in a pool of blood on the marble floor. The victim is Joanna Moorehouse, founder of Sterling Financial. The killer could be any one of her associates. Maggie knows that to crack the case, she and Jack will have to infiltrate the cutthroat world of high-stakes finance. But the offices of Sterling Financial seethe with potential suspects, every employee hellbent on making a killing. When another officer uncovers disturbing evidence in a series of unrelated murders, the investigation takes a surprising detour.

Only Maggie recognizes the blood-soaked handiwork of a killer who has committed the most heinous of crimes—and will continue killing until he is stopped. Burdened with unbearable secrets, Maggie must make an agonizing choice, while her conscience keeps telling her: she’s next.

I have always like the relationship and the chemistry between Maggie and Jack...and this one started out as if that relationship would continue and perhaps even grow...AND THEN...suddenly we are bogged down in a quagmire of information about financial interests and mortgage backed securities. I found myself skipping over a lot of it. The saving grace was another murder and the chase to find the killer before he killed again...with Maggie as the possible target.

Jun 21, 2018, 4:36pm Top

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
3.5 ★

When Ruth is called in to investigate a set of human remains found in an old chalk-mining tunnel, she notices the bones are almost translucent, a sign they were boiled soon after death. Once more, she finds herself at the helm of a murder investigation. Meanwhile, DCI Nelson is hunting for a missing homeless woman, Barbara, who he hears has gone "underground. As Ruth, Nelson, and the rest of their team investigate, they hear rumors of secret societies, cannibalism, and ritual killings. When a dead body is found with a map that appears to be of The Underground, they realize their quest to find the killer has only just begun.

This was a good blend of a mystery and the personal lives of the characters. The story was interesting with disappearing women, homeless men being killed, and rumors of underground societies. There were interesting interactions between the characters with some surprising things happening between them. The ending was very disappointing as it was sketchy and glossed over, leaving more questions than answers. I would still read more from this author as I did enjoy the characters and the plot.

Jun 21, 2018, 4:37pm Top

I just came back from the library...
and here's what I got:

1. Eon
by Alison Goodman

2. Story Thieves: Worlds Apart
by James Riley


3. Immortal Heights a sequel to The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea
(all) by Sherry Thomas

...and thats all I got!

...will review them later on (I have not read them yet).

Jun 21, 2018, 5:12pm Top

Desert Lost by Betty Webb
3.5 ★

When P.I. Lena Jones discovers the body of a woman connected to an infamous Arizona polygamy cult, she goes on a hunt to find the dead woman's missing son, one of the many teenaged boys the cult rejects from its ranks to prevent competition for wives.

Lena Jones is a compassionate and hard-working detective especially when she thinks someone is being treated unfairly or children are involved. Investigating the polygamists, who are based on real-life situations, they are found to be abusive in many ways: domestic abuse, child abuse, in-breeding resulting in many semi-retarded children, welfare fraud using the handicapped children, and dumping and abandoning teenaged boys on the streets of nearby cities to fend for themselves, never to return home. Lena continues to struggle with her personal relationships but doesn’t let that interfere with her work. This subject matter was interesting and ended with a surprise.

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 6:43am Top

The Martian by Andy Weir - 369 pgs. - ★★★★★
Mark Watney is the first man to walk on Mars. He has been left behind as his team thought he died in a dust storm. Now they must try and rescue him before he becomes the first man to die on Mars. Science fiction is not my usual genre but I enjoyed this book very much. It was a quick read with lots of humor, suspense and determination of Watney held my interest to the end. Highly recommended.

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 7:16am Top

Ghost by Jason Reynolds - 208 pgs. - ★★★★★
This is an excellent young adult book which shows exactly what it's like to be a teenager. Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has been chosen for an elite middle school track team - a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him? Beautiful and powerful story for all ages. Author's writing is genuine and raw. Cliffhanger at the end drove me crazy!

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 7:57am Top

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - 320 pgs. - ★★★★★
Anne (with an ‘e’ of course) Shirley starts out as a mistake. The elderly Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had planned on adopting a boy to help Matthew with the chores on their Prince Edward Island farm. What are they to do with the red-haired, high-spirited girl who arrives instead? This is a great children series especially for little girls. I loved Anne's spirit, her imagination and her adventures. She would be a great friend and a fun playmate. Highly recommended and a great look at life on Prince Edward Island. A must classic read for young and old.

Edited: Jun 24, 2018, 6:36pm Top

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King - 400 pgs - ★★★★
One of the most important books of the series as Roland joins forces with Eddie Dean and Odetta Holmes (Susannah Dean) to save the dark tower. It is rich in symbol and allegory. This is my 2nd time reading and I did enjoy it more than The Gunslinger. I liked that this book bought Roland to New York. Roland meets a new adversary, Jack Mort. I'm looking forward to the next book, The Waste Lands.

Edited: Jun 25, 2018, 8:17am Top

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman - 448 pgs. - ★★★★★
Backman once again shows his talent as a master storyteller. Even though the novel is about hockey, Backman gives us insights into the human experiences of the residents of Beartown. Us Against You picks up where Beartown left off. He allows us to feel everything his characters are feeling. He shows us their flaws and strengths. His scenes bring tears to our eyes, cause us despair and then moments of humor that give us a smile. This is a powerful and moving sequel and I highly recommend reading Us Against You.

Jun 24, 2018, 7:36pm Top

Collecting The Dead by Spencer Kope

Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability---a kind of synesthesia---where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people---his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan. When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes---the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.

I really liked the idea for the special ability that Spencer Kope came up with for the the character of Mangnus. He and his brother Jen made this a very enjoyable read. It got less than 4 or 5 stars though because so much time and story line seemed to be wasted explaining things that had no bearing on finding the killer. A little background material is good and necessary but there was just no point in some of it. I do want to read the second book in the series and hope hat Mr. Kope continues to write.

Edited: Jun 27, 2018, 10:17pm Top

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - 96 pgs. - ★★★★★
The Little Prince is a beautiful and timeless classic. It is a book that transcends the age of the reader. It is a book for everyone, except for those who will not allow themselves to be "tamed". Message of book is to simplify your life. All that the little Prince had on his planet was a flower and three mountains and he was extraordinarily happy. "What is essential is invisible to the eye, it is only with the heart that we can see clearly." I would highly recommend reading this book - it has the power to impact your life immensely.

Jun 25, 2018, 4:31pm Top

>74 EadieB: I saw the movie "The Martian" and thought it was well done, capturing the determination of Watney. The book sounds good too. You sure have been reading a lot and many of the classics. Is that a challenge you're working on or just a personal goal?

Jun 25, 2018, 5:49pm Top

>81 gaylebutz: I’m reading from The Great American Reads list of 100 books. I just completed my 60th book from the list. There will be one final book that will win in October. You can google The Great American Reads and see how many you read and vote for your favorite. I voted for Gone With the Wind.

Jun 25, 2018, 8:12pm Top

>82 EadieB: Interesting. I’ll take a look at that. 60 is an impressive number!

Jun 27, 2018, 6:46am Top

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavic

The Verner family lives on a mountain side and their isolated family dynamic and extreme piety makes them feel like a bizarre and twisted Little House on the Prairie. They were trapped in their house during a bad winter, clinging to their lives and their sanity, while the flu-stricken mother gives birth to a deaf and blind baby. Something happened to Amanda that winter, and it’s unclear if the isolation got to her head or if she truly saw something in the woods. Her bewildered family questions her goodness and her sanity nearly as much as she does herself. After a secret affair with a boy from town leaves her with child, she finds herself lost and at odds with her only ally, her sister Emma.At the threat of another bad winters, the family fleas to the plains—and that’s where the creepy really sets in. Terrifying things start happening.

It was a YA book so I wasn't expecting a great deal of scary things to happen. Actually it took almost half of the book for anything scary to occur....but it was worth the wait. It was dark...it was imaginative...and it was very well done. I will probably pick up another of Amy Lukavic's offerings.

Edited: Jul 1, 2018, 6:15pm Top

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - 384 pgs. - ★★★★★
I have read all of Ruth Ware's books and this is the best of her books yet. I found it to be a creepy page-turner with lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. I liked the idea of the tarot card readings throughout with gave the book a mystical feeling. I found the characters well-developed and believable. I would highly recommend to those who like psychological thrillers. Looking forward to her next book!

Jun 28, 2018, 8:26pm Top

Turbulence by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington series Book #46
3.5 ★

Stone Barrington and several friends are vacationing in Florida when an extreme weather event puts a damper on their trip. Even worse, the hurricane-force winds blow a powerful, noxious politician straight onto Stone's doorstep. Though they part ways before long, Stone soon learns that he hasn't seen the last of his new acquaintance. It turns out that this official has some shady associates who may have destructive plans afoot, and Stone needs an entrée to the inside to figure out their scheme. With the fate of nations at stake, Stone must summon all of his fearless daring to put an end to the audacious plot...but this time he may be in over his head.

I asked myself why I continue to read this series and can honestly say that I have always liked the characters of Stone Barrington and Dino. I admit that I liked them more about 40 books ago...but every once in awhile the old Stone Barrington shines through. The one thing I can say for Stuart Wood's writing is that he doesn't waste space with descriptions and he has managed to cram the characters from what were his other four series into the Barrington series...so the reader will always meet some of the old gang. Probably the best addition to the series is "Bob", the dog.

Jun 28, 2018, 10:20pm Top

>85 EadieB: My local book club is reading that for August. Happy to hear you liked it!

Jun 29, 2018, 1:30pm Top

Count All Her Bones by April Henry
★ ★ ★ ★ - 240 pages

A sequel to the YA book Girl Stolen, this book picks up six months after Cheyenne Wilder has returned home. She is preparing to testify against Roy Sawyer, the man who orchestrated her kidnapping. She would like to be in contact with Griffin Sawyer, Roy's son, who helped her escape, but her parents have insisted on no contact. They have also insisted that Cheyenne learn self defense and have a body guard. Others are thinking a lot about Cheyenne, too. There's Roy, who is waiting in jail for his trial, there's TJ, who is in a mental institution and dreams of Cheyenne, and there's Dwayne, Roy's brother, who doesn't want this trial to happen.

A good sequel to the original. Henry kept me reading, and the ending is satisfying. The downside - a little too much info on how to escape from handcuffs. Really - just tell me she jammed the prong from her watch into the ratchet on the cuff. Over all, though, a good read and the kids who have liked the first one will like this one, too.

Jun 29, 2018, 3:18pm Top

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
4 *

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, mother, their teenaged 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.

The story took a long time telling about Anna’s daily life at home since she was housebound due to the agoraphobia. But it was necessary as it led to some very interesting and very surprising things later. The ending was suspenseful and surprising too. Overall, this was well-written and well-done psychological suspense.

Jun 30, 2018, 1:32am Top

Origin by Dan Brown
4 stars.
Robert Langdon on the path yet again to discover the truth behind the actions of others, seeking solutions to puzzles left behind and breaking codes to do so? Yes, but not so much as in previous novels by Dan Brown.

This book is of a different nature in certain ways. There is the need to escape, to rush to another site to find these solutions, but it is much more limited than before. This book explores two great questions, asked by human beings for eons - Where did we come from? Where are we going?

Origins and Destiny form the basis of the book, with a great deal of information, much of which would do Professor Brian Cox proud, being brought into the substance of the book. Dan Brown sets all this within the context of a brilliant man, Edmund Kirsch (who is also a former student of Langdon's) about to reveal his latest discoveries, ones that he claims will astound the world. I have to admit to the build up to this seeming somewhat long-winded, but it does become quite fascinating, dealing as it does with religion and science being seen as opposing forces. The aspect of entropy (not a spoiler) did remind me of some of Cox's recent work on television. However, the amount of research put into this book makes it both interesting and challenging.

Most of the book is set in Spain - the Guggenheim Museum and Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona) being but two of the sites. Having recently revisited Sagrada Familia after a gap of fifty years - the massive structure now being a complete comparison with the four towers of 1967 - I found the descriptions employed to be very true to my own experience, although I did not get the chance to explore the building in the way that Robert Langdon did!

I was fascinated by the creation of an artificial intelligence called Winston, one that added immensely to the story. I had the audio version, read by Paul Michael. Audio books may take much longer because of vocal reading speed against visual, but his delivery added greatly to my enjoyment, particularly his well-to-do English accent for Winston.

Whilst it could be argued that it is a typical Dan Brown book, I actually found it much more than that. It really made me think about my views, challenged some of my beliefs, and had some very good, clear expositions of certain ideas - I really liked the one about mathematics being so organised that it could not have happened by chance. There is a great deal to think about, and it is a well worth while read. Please, though, don't expect a rip-roaring rush round the world with lots of dangerous situations, because you might be a little disappointed.

Jun 30, 2018, 5:42am Top

>90 Alan1946: I was waiting to read this until I saw a review by someone that wasn't being paid to say great things about it:) Glad to see that you at least "really liked it" (4 stars). Think I'll give Dan a chance. Thank you.

Edited: Jul 1, 2018, 6:43pm Top

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - 1392 pgs. - ★★★★★
War and Peace focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.

I really enjoyed listening to this book on audio. Loved the history and the love stories centered around Natasha Rostov. Tolstoy's writing is very detailed but the information is very interesting. I look forward to reading Anna Karenina. I would highly recommend War and Peace to those who enjoy books about the history, war, love and romance.

Jul 1, 2018, 6:43pm Top

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly - 392 pgs. - ★★★★
In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. They come across what appears to be a guy raping a girl. Laura knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his. He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story.

I found the first half of the book to be a slow-read but from the middle to the end was a unputdownable page-turner. I did not see the twist at the end and it was a definite surprise and made up for the slow beginning. I would recommend this book to those who like psychological thrillers about lies and relationships.

Jul 3, 2018, 2:04am Top

The Cassandra Sanction by Scott Mariani (Ben Hope #12)

4 stars

Exciting enough with plenty of Ben Hope action, but a somewhat different take on things in this book. A very chance meeting sees Ben on the lookout for someone who appears to have committed suicide, but whose twin brother dos not believe that to be the case. The premise behind the book centres on Global Green issues, with those apparently protecting the planet from global warming having other ideas. There is a great deal of exposition of such global issues, obviously well-researched by Scott Mariani, although I felt that some of it was a little bit of a stretch. However, I am not an expert, and it did make for a good read. There is a great deal of action in the book, but it did not quite hold my attention as others have. That may have been too much factual detail detracting from the pace of the story. Perhaps the next in the series will show Ben back to his best.

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