Jonathan Kellerman’s Mystery – Alex Delaware 26

Overview: Alex and Robin are giving a fond farewell to an all time favorite bar. While there, they noticed a beautiful young woman. She seems to be waiting for someone, as they leave the bar. The next time that Alex sees her, it’s from Milo Sturgis’s newest case. Who would kill such a pretty young girl? And who was the finely dressed man in the parking lot?

Story Telling: We have a new thriller in the Alex Delaware series.

Dislikes: This is kind of hard to whittle down, as there weren’t many likeable characters in this book.

Oddly enough, Alex was on this case. Not sure how that happened. I mean, he is a child psychologist in Los Angeles, shouldn’t he be too busy this time around?

Whatever happened to loyalty? If you can’t stay faithful to your spouse, why did you get married in the first place?

Likes: Connie had a great attitude. Too bad that her marriage was in shambles.

And Robin was willing to go outside of her comfort zone in order to help Milo and Alex.

Favorite Character: That would be Connie.

Favorite Scene: You have to catch Connie’s DUI story. I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Conclusion: This was an interesting story, and lived up to its title. Enjoy it for how the twists are supposed to work. Still, really can anyone explain to me as to how Alex got on this case?

Fern Michaels’ Lethal Justice-The Sisterhood 6

Overview: Sarah Whittier once had it all. She had her dream job as an investment broker, and quite successful at it as well. Successful enough to have been able to take a month long vacation. Too bad that she received such a nasty surprise when she got back. Now she’s spent a year in prison for investment fraud, and the true guilty party walked free. Going by Alexis Thorn, she is seeking to right that wrong. Luckily enough, she knows a group of ladies willing to help her.

Story Telling: This is part of a suspense thriller series called The Sisterhood. It is number six, yet reads like a stand alone novel. I didn’t feel lost at all, considering that I haven’t read the first five books.

Dislikes: Arden Gillespie is a piece of work. You don’t have the right to miss-use something that was entrusted to you in such a way.

And Roland had the most important treasures that life can offer. And then he goes and sacrifices his wife, children, and reputation, for a vain and greedy woman.

The biggest problem for me was that Alexis’ justice went way too far. There’s justice and then there’s revenge. Alexis had gotten Biblical justice, and then she took it way too far. There’s a reason that God’s Old Testament Law stated ‘eye for an eye.’ That was a limit on the punishment phase of a trial. That way the guilty party wasn’t demeaned at the end.

Likes: The ladies were willing to work together in order to accomplish their goals.

Anna de Silva was well aware of the laws of her adopted country, and still willing to help her oldest friends.

Favorite Character: The Mrs. Sullivan fits the bill this time around. She’s elegant, and tough enough to do what is right.

Favorite Scene: That would be when the Sullivans had their last conversation.

Conclusion: This isn’t a fast paced book. If you don’t mind chick-lit speed, or a conversationally paced book, you might enjoy it. These ladies definitely lived up to the saying “hell hath no fury as a woman scorn’d”. Enjoy the trip, and consider whether or not you wish to take another one with them.

Steve Cavanagh’s Thirteen – Eddie Flynn 4

Overview: Eddie has just gotten a client’s charges dropped. To celebrate, a big shot lawyer, Mr. Carp, has a proposition for him. See Mr. Carp is representing a man who has been accused of murdering his wife, and her bodyguard. The big problem is that the defendant has Hollywood backing him. Now this brings all the trouble that kind of backing can bring. Let’s face it, Hollywood brings about media coverage. Of course, the murderer is in the courtroom, he just isn’t at the defense table.

Story Telling: This is a court-room procedural/thriller. Forgive the last line of my overview, that’s not a spoiler as it’s on the cover of the book. While this book is number four in the series, it reads like a stand alone novel.

Dislikes: This book seems to be very popular, but I’m not sure that it’s due to Mr. Flynn’s winning personality. For the most part, Mr. Cavanagh seemed to portray just about every part of the judicial system in a poor light. Let’s face it, most cops aren’t corrupt. They joined to force to help their communities. Just one question: if the police are so corrupted, then why are we expecting the F.B.I. to be immune to that corruption? Let’s face it, the F.B.I. is our federal police force.

Most prosecutors aren’t out to get a conviction at all costs. Many, if not the vast majority, truly believe that they are charging the right person for the crime. It’s to their credit if they can admit when they were wrong, though it is human nature to allow the ego to do the talking. And last I checked, having an ego isn’t a sin.

Honestly, with the research that a 5 minute internet search can give you, I’m surprised that this trial didn’t end in a mistrial. Three jurors murdered, and the trial is still going on? Just one natural death of a juror can throw the case into a mistrial, and that’s not counting the pressure that the murders would have on influencing the verdict.

One warning to the squeamish: we do have highly descriptive murder scenes here, and they get worse with each kill.

Likes: I appreciate the judge’s early attempts at stay impartial, though again, I thought that the judge would have to recuse himself from the trial.

Favorites: There isn’t any scene, quote or character that I liked more than the others in this novel.

Conclusion: I didn’t like this story much at all. It’s going to be a book more for those who like noir novels, gritty novels, or those who have a poor view of our judicial system.

Edit: on 8-12-2021 due to a miss used word.

Jonathan Kellerman’s Compulsion-Alex Delaware 22

Overview: Alex Delaware is meeting up with Milo Sturgis for lunch as his friend is getting ready to return to the force. Too bad this young rookie didn’t realize that. It turns out that a rich man had his Bentley stolen, and found it just as few blocks away. Problem: there is blood in the car. Sure, it’s just a smudge, but still it’s blood.

Story Telling: This is apart of a series and a bit of a serious style of mystery. Mr. Delaware is a psychologist, but not a forensic one. He’s a child psychologist.

Dislikes: The school teacher’s son was a bum. I’m sorry if you aren’t reaching your dreams, but that doesn’t mean that you lean on your mother to live your chosen lifestyle. If you can’t do manual labor to get by, then get a job as a secretary or other such job. There’s always something you can do to better your life.

Likes: I guess Alex was pretty important to the police chief. HE became a paid…specialist?…I’m not sure what you would call his position there. It paid gas mileage for his trips though.

And while Robin was nervous about meeting her client, she did a wonderful job.

Favorite Character: That would be Robin.

Favorite Scene: Robin’s showcase with the millionaire was beautiful. I’m glad that Alex was able to share it with her.

Conclusion: This was a fun novel. It moves fast, and it was fascinating. Enjoy the story. You just might find a couple of new literary friend in the process.

Jeffrey Deaver’s The October List

Overview: Gabriela McKenzie has been having a rather stressful few days. Her boss has run off with hundreds of thousands of his clients’ money, a guy ruined her shirt, and now a monster has kidnapped her daughter. What is so important about this “October List” the man wants so badly? And can anyone help Gabriela?

Story Telling: This would be what you could call an experimental thriller. Warning: this book starts on Chapter 36, and ends with Chapter 1. Yes, it’s what you’re thinking, the book was written, and published, backwards.

Dislikes: I am not a fan of the narrative style. This kind of style requires an one-sitting read. There aren’t many people who have the time to dedicate to an one-sitting read.

Then we get to the attitudes of our main characters in this novel. It may be just a personality clash, but I didn’t like the whole lot.

Likes: The police task force did work hard to catch the crooks.

Favorites: There aren’t any with this selection.

Conclusion: There isn’t much to say about this novel. This story is more for those who are game for the experimental, or those who prefer the more gritty story lines. I hope you have fun with it. It is a different experience. Give it a shot, you might like it.

Johanna Lindsey’s Home for the Holidays

Overview: Vincent Everett has planned it all out perfectly. George Ascot, the man who–according to Albert–ruined his brother’s attempts at being a competing ship owner is out of the country. Now, Vincent can ruin him. Sure, Ascot can rebuild, and remake his fortune, but nothing will bring Albert back. Though, Ascot has a beautiful daughter. Perhaps he can add insult to injury.

Story Telling: This is a Regency Romance, or a chick-lit story. I called it regency, as the novel takes place sometime before America broke free of England.

Dislikes: I had a major problem with this story. It’s not the pace of the story, as many of my favorite books are quite slow compared to today’s world. No, it has to do with the time that this book is set in. No member of the nobility class in England at this specific timeframe, would have even given a such a glimpse of impropriety.

And then there is Thomas Ascot. He is portrayed as an unsettling boy who seems more like a miniature adult than as a child. Allow me to offer this as a rebuttal. President John Quincy Adams went to and graduated from college being fluent in at least three different languages, all at the age of twelve. President Adams wasn’t the exception for that generation, he was the rule.

These two examples are part of what hurt the story for me. I’d be reading along, getting immersed in the story, and something else would knock me right out of it. Is this how scientists feel when they run across campy science-fiction stories?

Likes: Thomas was determined to protect his sister. And George was more forgiving that any man would be in the era of ‘marry her or die’. At least the sexual conduct wasn’t explicit.

Favorite Character: If I had to pick, it would be Mara and Mary Sims.

Favorite Quote: I don’t have one to share from this book.

Favorite Scene: That would be when the Baron Everett received his brother’s second letter.

Conclusion: This is going to be a hard book to recommend. It can be a fun ride as long as you don’t have too much knowledge of the time that this story takes place. I hope you have more enjoyment out of the story than I did.

Catherine Coulter’s Hemlock Bay- FBI Thriller 6

Overview: Savich and Sherlock are after the Warlock Twins. Timmy and Tommy Tuttle have been butchering young teen boys all over the Eastern Seaboard. On another note, Savich’s sister, Lily is in a hospital. Supposedly she wanted to kill herself, but why? She was getting better.

Story Telling: This is another suspense thriller in Savich’s series.

Dislikes: Olaf Jorgenson was a child in a man’s body. This man never grew past the fact that you cannot buy some things. Love, devotion, honor, all of the great virtues that humanity should strive for, take a lot of work. You can buy a spouse, for example mail-order brides, but that doesn’t mean that you automatically have the devotion that comes from a long marriage.

On that note, the Fraiser family has some serious problems. Tennyson seems so devoted to his parents, which is an honorable thing in most cases, but he ignores facts that do not fit what seems to have happened. For example, Lily just drew a new cartoon strip, and has been in an upbeat mood, up until she has to go pick something up? This sounds fishy, especially once you consider that the car is crushed right after the accident. His parents, however, prove the point that there are some who will do anything for money.

Likes: Lily truly did seem to regain her will to live quite rapidly after she left with her brother. It’s as if, once she had something to focus on, she thrived.

Simon knew his niche very well. He knew how to find information on art collectors, forgers, and galleries.

Favorite Character: That would be Simon.

Favorite Scene: This is a two-part favorite this time. Tammy gets face to face with both Saviches in this book. Both scenes were great to read. However, I cannot get into either scene without spoiling the story.

Favorite Quote: This one fits perfectly “Jimmy said, “Good, things are moving. Does Savich have friends all over the world?””

Conclusion: This was a fun story. A bit of advice: read this one before “Point Blank.” I missed out on a lot of the suspense that these novels are known for, because I red them in reverse order. Oh well, it was still a great trip.

Mary Higgins Clark’s Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Overview: Kerry McGrath is a woman on a mission. She is a successful prosecutor, with a pretty little girl. Sure, she’s divorced, but she also has her eye on a potential judgeship. Unfortunately, her Robin was in a car accident, leaving her to need plastic surgery to prevent serious scarring later. Dr. Smith seems to be a remarkable surgeon. But there is something wrong with two of his patients. They seem to be wearing the face of a dead woman.

Story Telling: This is a suspense novel, if you missed the author’s name. There really isn’t any mystery involved.

Dislikes: Suzanne Reardon was a piece of work. Oh no, she didn’t get a date every day of her young life. She might have fixed what she saw as the problem, yet she was rotten on the inside.

And I don’t understand why Bob was written the way he was. Everyone, including the corrupt mob boss (is there really any other kind?) deserves a vigorous defense. Jimmy Weeks was afraid of jail, but no mob boss would lose his attorneys over something as stupid as bragging and threats.

Likes: Geoffrey Dorso was trying to do what was right by his client. It’s just sad that Skip was given no real defense during his first trial.

Robin was a brave little girl. She went through three appointments with Dr. Smith before she declared him to be too creepy to return to. And she called out her mother’s actions.

Favorite Character: That would be Geoff.

Favorite Quote: From Robin we get: “You’re putting Dad down for something, and you’re doing the same thing. Isn’t not helping Geoff if you think his client shouldn’t be in prison ‘situational ethics’?”

Favorite Scene: That would be when the thief was caught. That man didn’t quite get the 5th Amendment.

Conclusion: This is an interesting story. You do have to enjoy the ride, as thinking too much about the plot will show all the holes in it. Have fun!

Catherine Coulter’s Point Blank-An FBI Thriller 10

Overview: Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock have a new opponent in this novel. Moses Grace is hunting down anyone who seems to be close to our favorite couple. If that wasn’t bad enough, the man seems determined to taunt Savich at every step of the way. At the same time, another FBI agent is on her vacation. Unfortunately Ruth’s treasure hunting vacation is about to turn into a nightmare.

Story Telling: We have a new–for me anyway–thriller novel. Of course the FBI Thrillers is a long running series.

Dislikes: My biggest problem with this novel was how the whole town–that Ruth was in–seemed to turn a blind eye to the headmaster and, at least one of, the teachers of a musical academy having highly inappropriate relationships with the students. At a minimum, both aggressors should be fired and banned from any and all teaching jobs.

Of course Moses Grace had a nasty attitude.

Likes: Dix Noble and his whole police force were determined to find the killer in their midst.

Marilyn Warluski seemed to thrive in spite of her family. That is something when you consider how a gem came out of that particular den of vipers.

Favorite Character: This time it’s Ruth.

Favorite Scene: Now this is a toss-up between when Ruth solved her treasure map, and when Dix took her and his sons to see Detective Morales.

Favorite Quote: This fits perfectly. ““Oh dear,” Ruth said, “I’ve got to cancel all my credit cards. I left my backpack and my wallet in my car.””

Conclusion: This was a fun story. Just don’t think about the plausibility of the story too much and you will have fun with it.

Susan Wittig Albert’s Bittersweet-China Bayles 23

Overview: China and Caitlin are meeting McQuaid and Brian in Utopia to have Thanksgiving with her mother and step-father. Too bad that Sam, China’s step-father, had a heart-attack prior to their arrival. Good thing that Leatha, China’s mother, has a friend coming to stay with her to help out with the newly formed sanctuary. Wonder why that friend needs to talk to China though?

Story Telling: It looks like we’re time traveling with this novel. I was unaware that this cozy mystery took place before ‘Blood Orange’.

Dislikes: It very well may be my ignorance of the subject matter, but I had problems with this story. The biggest problem I had was how the PETA volunteers were portrayed as intrinsically good, but maybe making a few mistakes along the way. I don’t see trespassing, and filming a legal hunt as intrinsically good. Here’s the thing, PETA is known as an example of the motto “the ends justify the means.” This group is known to humiliate, terrorize, or out-right lie just to get their wishes passed onto the culture.

Mackenzie seems to suffer from “don’t need no man” syndrome. On one hand she tries to find a boyfriend, on the other, she’s tough enough to do what has to be done, and any attempt to keep her from being targeted is seen as preventing her from doing her job. For the most part, I wanted to drop her off of a cliff.

A lot of Ms. Albert’s personal beliefs seem to be force fed to us through this book. It can come across as being ‘preachy’ if you have a low enough tolerance for it.

Likes: China was worried about her mother’s situation. And she did try to help Sue Ellen. And Ethan Conway seemed to be a great guy.

Favorite Character: Oh my, this could be difficult. Let’s just go with Doc Masters.

Favorite Quote: I don’t have an offering for you this time.

Favorite Scene: This would be Mackenzie and China’s brunch meet up.

Conclusion: I’m glad that I read ‘Blood Orange’ first, as I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I read these books in order. This is a love it or hate it book, so you might not find any middle ground. I hope you enjoy it much more than I did.