Dean Koontz’s Deeply Odd–Odd Thomas 6

Overview: Odd just needs some new clothes. Is that really too much to ask? Well someone, who wishes to supplant Glenn Campbell as the rhinestone cowboy, seems to think so. He has a nasty surprise. It’s a surprise that involves fire, but no birthday cake. Good thing that Annamaria is okay with Odd not coming back to the cottage for quite a while.

Story Telling: The Odd Thomas series is written in the style of memoirs, but there is also quite a bit of paranormal activity involved as well. Please don’t think that I’m referring to the movie, as I have never seen the Paranormal Activity series.

Dislikes: The would-be cowboy deserved a whole lot worse. With the crime being so unthinkable, I might be a little bit biased.

Likes: Mrs. Fischer was a fun little woman. She held more than enough courage to do what had to be done. Yet she always had a ready smile for those around her.

I’m pretty sure that I know what Annamaria is. Word of warning: whenever Mr. Koontz has the afterlife referenced in his books, he also includes a heavily religious theme. And the Odd Thomas series has more than just referenced the afterlife. By this book, you really ought to expect that from Mr. Koontz.

Favorite Character: It’s Edie Fischer.

Favorite Quote: There are two of them this time. Here’s one for the activists out there today: “The world howls for social justice, but when it comes to social responsibility, you sometimes can’t even hear crickets chirruping.”

This probably would never fit a motivational calendar, but it’s important advice. “The thing to understand is that you have to do what you have to do, always and without complaint.”

Favorite Scene: Once again, there are two. One was the house that Odd and Mrs. Fischer took the survivors.

And the other was the discussion that Odd held with the Kens concerning the Baptist preacher and his wife conceal carrying. There was no self-awareness with those two.

Conclusion: This was a decent story. Though, I suspect that it would have been more enjoyable if I had read books four and five. And no, you cannot talk too much about “The Lord of the Rings,” unless you’re talking about the…movies.

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Mary Higgins Clark’s The Shadow of Your Smile

Overview: An eighty-three year-old, Olivia Morrow, has a moral dilemma. Her cousin is being considered for sainthood, yet she had–at one time–an illicit affair. Catherine never wanted her son, nor potential grandchildren, to know about his ancestry. Unfortunately, others know about Olivia’s problem, and not even Catherine’s granddaughter–Dr. Monica Farrell–is safe from their schemes.

Story Telling: This is registered as a suspense novel. However, this will be dependent on the reader.

Dislikes: Catherine doesn’t strike me as saint-like. Oh, sure, she took care of children with polio. Yet, she willingly had a rendezvous that resulted in a child. And, forgive my bluntness, she wasn’t woman enough to take responsibility for her actions, nor did she allow her child the chance to know his father. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of adoption. Adoptions are great things. There are times when a parent cannot give a child what he or she needs, then adoption is beneficial. There are always parents who want a child. But, you can be a mother, a wife, and still dedicate your life to God. You don’t have to cloister yourself away as a nun, monk, or priest, in order to dedicate your life to God, and help the people.

And you know, when I hear suspense, I think: boom, bang, pow-pow, high speed chases, near death experiences, all to save the day at the end of the novel. What I got was: kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey, gossipy, with a dash of C.S.I. in the background.

Likes: Ryan Jenner was a cool guy. He also didn’t let Monica walk all over him.

Favorite Character: It would be Alexander Gannon. Oh, yeah, I know that the blurb claims that he violated Catherine, yet she shows no signs of being a victim. No, I don’t mean the adoption vs. abortion thing. I mean Catherine’s argument for not letting Alexander know about Edward. And vice versa.

Favorite Quote: I don’t really have one this time around.

Favorite Scene: It’s the time that Susan spent with Sally.

Conclusion: This isn’t for the high impact suspense fan. If you like the gossipy style of oh joy, someone is out to kill our plucky hero/heroine, you might enjoy this one.