3rd Degree by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

20 06 2008

 

I feel like I keep repeating myself when it comes to the Women’s Murder Club books, but, they really are excellent…this is the 3rd book in the series and it finds Jill, Claire, Lindsey, and Cindy chasing down a terrorist organization who is looking to disrupt the G-8 summit being held in San Francisco…The mystery starts with a house blowing up…while Lindsey just happens to be running by, and continues with strange mysterious message sent to Cindy, via email…Oh and don’t forget the cute Federal Agent guy that flies down from Washington D.C…from the very beginning you assume he and Lindsey will get together, typical story…it’s a very intriguing read, but something about this book was different than the other ones…When I first picked up the book I read on the cover that “Someone in the Women’s Murder Club is About to Die…” I assumed, that someone like Cindy or Jill or Claire (although probably not Claire) would get kidnapped (or some other form of entrapment in a bad situation) and Lindsey would come rescue them…man was I wrong, and pissed…(warning…slight spoiler coming)…they kill of one of the women!!! How can you do that?? To date there are 7 books written in the series…and I realize when they wrote book three they didn’t know there would be at least another 4 books…but, how can you kill off on of the main characters??? That’s just f***ed up!!!

 

So, because of that I give the book 4 stars…mean, maybe, but still how do you kill off one of the main characters??





2nd Chance by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

19 06 2008

The 2nd book in the Women’s Murder Club series ( For More Info See The Review on 1st to Die by James Patterson ) finds Jill, Cindy, Claire and Lindsey trying to solve a string of murders that all seem completely unrelated. First it’s a drive by shooting that kills a small black girl, then a hanging that kills an elderly black lady, and then a black cop is set up to be shot…besides race, nothing seems to link these killers…but we soon find out that’s not the case.  

James Patterson delivers a suspenseful thrill ride in this novel. As with the first novel, 1st To Die, this book has lots of pages accompanied with lots of chapters…so again you have about 3 pages per chapter…. it keeps you hanging on your seat and wanting more…I completed the novel in a 48 hour time frame…would have been quicker except for that evil thing called work …go ahead and buy it, you want be disappointed…for $7.99 (as always US price, in US dollar) you’ll get your money’s worth! I give this 4 ½ stars…it left me aching for more…so, I had to rush out and get the 3rd book titled 3rd Degree…give me another day or so and I should be done with it also.





1st To Die by James Patterson

18 06 2008

 

I don’t read James Patterson…just something about him, I just never would pick up one of his books…In all fairness, as I never like to criticize something I haven’t tried, I did try reading his book The Beach House, once…never could get in to it, so I never tried any of his other books… until now…I don’t know how many of my readers are from the United States but ABC has a show on called The Women’s Murder Club (Psstt…if you click on this link you can watch the shows on this site for free) I’m a HUGE fan….love it…I envy the characters for their great bond and amazing skills in their chosen professions…so, I decided if the TV shows were that great then the books had to be even better, you know the old thing, how the movie and TV shows are never as good as the books…so my expectations were set very high on this one…I wasn’t completely disappointed…The main 4 characters are about the only thing that are the same between the book and the TV show…on the show Tom is the lieutenant who also happens to be the main character, Lindsey Boxer’s ex-husband…not so in the book, he’s a lawyer that’s now completely out of her life…the Kiss-me-not killer from TV…not in the books (at least not yet)…Jill is married in the book, not so on TV, and Jacobi (her police partner) is black on TV, not in the book, also Lindsey out ranks him in the book, but is subordinate on TV…so a lot of differences, but…if you take the book and analyze it completely separately from the show…then it’s a good book. It’s completely suspenseful and a super quick read. At 462 pages it has 126 chapters…so that’s like, 3-4 pages a chapter, which helps in the “only one more chapter, it’s only 3 pages” then you hit the end of the chapter and you’re still thirsting for more…makes you keep saying “just one more chapter”…

 

The basic summary of the story is there is a serial killer loose in San Francisco, and he’s killing newly wedded couples…on their honeymoon (romantic, huh?)…So the four main characters Lindsay, a homicide inspector with the police department, Jill, an assistant District Attorney (D.A.), Claire a medical examiner and Cindy, who’s a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. They “unofficially” join forces to try and figure out who the killer is and how to stop him.

 

The only part I didn’t like about the book is how quickly Patterson makes the 4 women bond…I mean I realize that’s part of the book, but he makes it happen SO quickly…it’s like they become best friends over night…I realize that chasing a killer can make you bond pretty quickly, but still, it felt a little unnatural…as a woman anyway…maybe that’s part of why Patterson had trouble with that, he’s a guy…other than that little thing, he does a very nice job…It’s scary how easily he made it seem for him to become a female narrator…but lends to the quality of the story…if you enjoy mystery novels that aren’t grimy and gross, then you’ll enjoy this…it examines personal relationships and gets into the minds of people…I would defiantly recommend it and have to give it 4 and a half stars.


The basic summary of the story is there is a serial killer loose in San Francisco, and he’s killing newly wedded couples…on their honeymoon (romantic, huh?)…So the four main characters Lindsay, a homicide inspector with the police department, Jill, an assistant District Attorney (D.A.), Claire a medical examiner and Cindy, who’s a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. They “unofficially” join forces to try and figure out who the killer is and how to stop him.


The only part I didn’t like about the book is how quickly Patterson makes the 4 women bond…I mean I realize that’s part of the book, but he makes it happen SO quickly…it’s like they become best friends over night…I realize that chasing a killer can make you bond pretty quickly, but still, it felt a little unnatural…as a woman anyway…maybe that’s part of why Patterson had trouble with that, he’s a guy…other than that little thing, he does a very nice job…It’s scary how easily he made it seem for him to become a female narrator…but lends to the quality of the story…if you enjoy mystery novels that aren’t grimy and gross, then you’ll enjoy this…it examines personal relationships and gets into the minds of people…I would defiantly recommend it and have to give it 4 and a half stars.





The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

17 06 2008

I read this book as a child, but decided to reread it after I saw the most recent movie it was made into…surprisingly the movie didn’t veer off from the book too much, unlike some movies like The Phantom of the Opera (still upset about that one)…the book was as wonderful as I remember it…most people know the story of Lucy, Peter, Edmond and Susan reaching Narnia through the back a magical wardrobe…If you haven’t read this book, or haven’t read it any many years, as was the case with me…it’s defiantly worth picking up this book…the magical world of Narnia will suck you in and seduce you into wanting more…it’ll remind you of a childhood where all was possible…and nothing impossible…you’ll make friends with a fawn and a lion, and you’ll fight the evil witch…it’s the classic tale of good vs evil, and good prevails…like any good fairy tale.
The novel, I give 5 stars, just as I did The Magician’s Newphew if for no other reason it captivated me at 10 and again at 24…It has spanned across several decades and has a very long future…





The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

16 06 2008

I hate long car rides…especially when traveling from Virginia Beach back to Blacksburg…I’ve traveled that trip about, oh I don’t know 50 times…it’s about 5 ½ to 6 hours on the road…I hate it because it seems like a completely wasted 6 hours of life…both ways, so 12 hours…I can’t read in the car because I get horrible motion sick, and anyway, when traveling alone, reading and driving, probably not a great idea…So I find a solution…Books on CD…at first they annoyed me, I really prefer hearing my own voice in my head reading the books, but…I’m discovering some of them aren’t so bad, however, I only listen to the ones that just read the book word for word, no acting or interpretations…I want the whole book, just the way it was written, without anyone messing around with it….so this last weekend when I went back home I “read” three books on the way there and back, and actually finished reading a fourth one…now, instead of having oh 6 or 7 days worth of book reviews back to back…I’m rewinding time a little…June 10th and 11th, I didn’t write…so, I’ve filled in those days with two book reviews the first Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson  and the second Midnight In The Garden of Good And Evil by John Berendt so, please, if you enjoy book reviews, take a few moments to travel back in time and read them…and hopefully by time you are reading this, my Reading List should be updated….hopefully.

 

 

 

When I was a child I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe…it fascinated me, but I never read any of the other books of the Chronicles of Narnia…J and I watched the movie of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe a few weeks ago, and it resparked in interested of mine into the ser Bies…however, when I went to the book store I was shocked to learn that The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was not the actually first book in the series, it was The Magician’s Nephew, although written after several of the other books were already published it is the actual first book of the series…in it we discover the origins of the wardrobe and the beginnings of Narnia….the magicians nephew and a female friend are tricked into using magical rings by the magician, and are sent swirling into a magical journey…just as they were sucked into this magical world, you will be to. It’s a fantastic read for children of all ages…I loved it! The whole book made you feel like you were part of that magical world…like you were right there alongside Diggory and Aslan, and the magician and uncle Andrew…and at the same precise time…it reminds you of your own childhood…which, although not void of evil or bad things, was still magical and exciting all the same…I easily give this book 5 stars, as I know it’s already been named a classic that is worthy of the last 50 years as a top seller, but also for many many years to come…it almost makes me want to have children, just so I can share it with them.





Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil By John Berendt

11 06 2008

 

A little weary about this one at first…it’s one many many awards, and everyone I know whose ever read it, has loved it…I own an autographed copy, have for about 2 years now, so I figured it was about time I read the story…it’s about a murder that happens in Savannah, Georgia (US state, not the country-for you international readers) and about the 4 trials that follow the murder, all trying to prosecute the same man…the book is as much about the murder as it is about Savannah, and it’s as much about Savannah as it is about the crazy characters (no offense meant) of Savannah…if you read it, you’ll fall in love with Savannah and all the crazy stuff that happens there…from the cross dressing man, to the gay antique dealer to the Voodoo priestesses…it’s an incredible story, that is actually based on a true story, which when I began reading it I was completely unaware of.

 

I give this book 4 stars…on the basis that 1, it made me want to visit Savannah, yet at the same time made me feel as though I already had, 2, it made me want to read more by this author and 3, it turned a skeptical reader into a believer.





Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson

10 06 2008

 

An intriguing read set in 1954 about a Japanese man that is on trial for murder. The book takes you back to the beginnings of World War 2 and the Japanese-Americans being relocated to confinement camps…it takes you through lost lands, loves and limbs, through glimpse of the characters lives…If you enjoy descriptive reading, then you’ll enjoy this. It doesn’t move super quickly, but it’s also not a boring read…I found it enjoyable…cover price is $14.95 here in the US, I fortunately got it on a buy one get one free sale at Barnes & Noble , so I didn’t actually pay anything for it, however, it still would have been worth it…it’s also worthy to note that it is a recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award…overall, I’d give it 4 stars for easy readability and it’s ability to drag you into every scene, whether you want to go or not…the characters are all very unique, and as much as the evidence points to the main character, Kabuo Miyamoto’s guiltiness, you’ll find yourself hoping for his innocence.  Even the hard-knock journalist Ishmael Chambers is likable…it’s hard to not like him despite his desolate outlook on the world…even though he’s been through horrible unimaginable things (like losing an arm) he’s still a good person, even though he struggles with a lot of internal conflicts…the book spends a lot of time examining the psyches of these people, which adds to the descriptiveness of the book, but also aids in making the reader become part of the book…I realize I’m probably rambling a lot and it’s not exactly a book review my high school English teacher would have accepted, but…it is a good book that I’d recommend…and for some other reviews by some more affluent, good-with-words reviewers, in all fairness though, I should let you know I only picked the ones that I agreed with…

 

“Luminous…a beautifully assured and full-bodied novel [that] becomes a tender examination of fairness and forgiveness…. Guterson has fashioned something haunting and true.” –Pico Iyer, Time

 

“Haunting… A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.” –Los Angeles Times

 

“Guterson uses a rich scenario and cast of characters to explore issues much deeper than the usual. Like the snowfall that is its constant refrain, Snow Falling On Cedars builds up gradually, steadily, surrounding the reader with its magic.” –Newsday

 

“Intriguing…. At various moments a courtroom drama, an interracial love story, and a war chronicle. Guterson melds these components into a novel that explores how individuals and communities abuse, retreat from, or use their histories as motivating forces. Vividly written.” –San Francisco Chronicle