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More Books Read in 2024

  • The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon
    Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate New York town where he lives. He’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him. He’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed, fearing for her life. ****
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah
    Jude Faraday is very invested in her children's lives. Some might even call her a helicopter mom. But senior year of high school is a dangerous season of drinking, driving, parties, and kids who want to let loose. On a hot summer's night, one bad decision tears the Faraday family apart, including Lexi, an orphan who has become so close to the Faraday family that she feels like one of them. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forgive. ****
  • Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
    Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. ****
  • Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
    When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops—the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Thus opens a story that will at times break your heart and at time lift it up. *****
  • The Iceman by by Anthony Bruno
    A mob contract killer known as “The Iceman” for hiding a body in an ice-cream truck freezer, Richard Kuklinski boasted a personal body count of more than a hundred victims. This book is the inspiration for the Netflix movie "The Iceman," starring Michael Shannon as Kuklinski. Good book and good movie. ****
  • Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth
    Jessica, Nora, and Alicia grew up in a foster home with Miss Fairchild as their wicked foster mom. Fairchild has a story of her own to tell, and she does, mixed in with he main plot. Although their girls' childhoods were challenging and sometimes downright horrible, they came to think of each other as sisters. Now that they are adults with lives and careers, a body has been found buried under the house they grew up in, and police want to talk to the sisters about what they might know. This is a good book, really good, but the amount of errors, at least in the Kindle edition, errors that should have been fixed by a copy editor, ticked me off. But I'm giving it four stars anyway. ****
  • The Mobius Door by Andrew Najbert
    If Stephen King's book are too scary far you, make sure you don't go near this book. Remember THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE? it's sort of like that--except it's a door, not a wardrobe, and it's terrifying. I, however, loved it. ****
  • The Queen of Sugar Hill by Reshonda Tate
    A fiction/based-on-fact book chronically the life of Hattie McDaniels who played Manny in "Gone With the Wind." ****

Books Read in '2024

  • Shanessa Glum: A River of Crows
    In 1988, Sloan Hadfield's brother Ridge went fishing with their father and never came home. Their father was arrested and charged with murder. Ridge's body was never recovered, and Sloan's mother slowly descended into madness, insisting her son was still alive as a crow. Good books (****)
  • Stacy Willingham: All the Dangerous Things
    One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally. (****)
  • Ariel Lawton: The Frozen River
    1789 Maine. Midwife Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body of a man who has been entombed in the frozen Kennebec River and determine cause of death. This is not only an intriguing murder mystery, but also a snapshot of lives that women were subjected to in young America. For instance, a woman couldn't testify at trial without the permission of her husband or father. I loved this book, but it disturbed me. (****)
  • Hannah Tinti: The Good Thief
    Twelve year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. (***)
  • Mary Kubica: The Good Girl
    One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. Talk about your surprise ending. At least it was to me. In fact, I wasn't sure how it ended until I read the last few pages a second time. Actually the every last sentence of the book makes it clear. This is the first book I've read byt his author, but it won't be the last. (****)
  • Simone St. James: Murder Road
    A young newlywed couple on their way to their honeymoon get involved in a decades-old murder mystery after they take a wrong turn onto a dark and spooky road. (***)
  • Dennis Lehane: Since We Fell
    After a very public mental breakdown, Rachel Childs, once a tenacious, globe-trotting journalist, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. (***)
  • Dennis Lehane: The Drop
    Lehane returns to the streets of Boston for this love story wrapped in a crime story wrapped in a journey of faith. (***)
  • Coben, Harlan: I Will Find You

    Coben, Harlan: I Will Find You
    David Burroughs was once a devoted father to his three-year-old son Matthew, until one night when David woke suddenly to discover Matthew had been murdered. Five years later, David having been wrongly accused and convicted of the murder, is serving time in prison. He has lost interesting in everything, including the will to live. Until, that is, his ex-wife's sister shows him a photograph. (****)

  • McFadden, Freida: The Housemaid

    McFadden, Freida: The Housemaid
    Young, jobless, broke Millie is living in her car when she snags a job as a live-in housekeeper for a well-to-do family. Millie thinks she has hit the jackpot until she arrives at her first day and finds nothing is what she had thought. Her employer Nina is a vindictive gaslighter and the 8-year-old daughter is a small copy of her mom. The only normal person in the household seems to be the husband Andy. If only Millie had followed her instincts and left that house immediately. But she didn't. Twisty as an amusement park roller coaster. (****)

  • Wallace, Daniel: Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician

    Wallace, Daniel: Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician
    Henry Walker, once the "greatest magician in the world," has been reduced to a minstrel show–like novelty act in a traveling circus. Henry's story, told by a succession of narrators—including members of the circus and a private detective—begins during the Depression, when Henry's family fell on hard times. While down and out, Henry meets and apprentices with the devilish magician Mr. Sebastian. Henry learns the secrets of magic, but his ambition and ability are crimped when his beloved sister, Hannah, disappears. The truths of Henry's and Mr. Sebastian's identities and the fate of Hannah are gradually revealed, and what appears to be a Faustian tale of a pact with the devil turns out to be something more tragic. (****)

  • McFadden, Freida: The Ex

    McFadden, Freida: The Ex
    Joel is sweet, handsome, romantic, and best of all, he’s crazy about Cassie. She thinks she’s found the guy she’ll spend the rest of her life with. Have children with. Grow old with. And then the twists begin. This book has so many twists and turns, you might get dizzy reading it. One of the best thrillers yet. (****)

  • Sager, Riley: The Last Time I Lied: A Novel

    Sager, Riley: The Last Time I Lied: A Novel
    Four girls share a cabin at the exclusive Nightingale summer camp. During the night three of them disappear without a trace. Fifteen years later, Emma, the sole survivor of the four friends, returns to Camp Nightingale to teach art of the young campers. But her real purpose is finding what happened to her three friends on that long ago summer night. (***)

  • Swarthout, Glendon: The Homesman: A Novel

    Swarthout, Glendon: The Homesman: A Novel
    A devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A “homesman” must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy—ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful. (*****)

  • Macmillan, Gilly: What She Knew: A Novel

    Macmillan, Gilly: What She Knew: A Novel
    Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It’s an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry—until Ben vanishes. I was completely surprised when the perpetrator was revealed. (****)

  • Stainton, Jack: You're Family Now

    Stainton, Jack: You're Family Now
    Matt Walker has spent his entire life chasing the next job and the next relationship. Life was slowly drifting him by. Until one evening, in a hotel bar, he meets the quiet and unassuming Julia who clues him in to the perfect job opportunity. Not only did the subsequent interview provide him with his dream job, it's also where he meets the love of his life. All he has to do is love her family. (****)

Books Read in 2023

  • Bledsoe, Jerry: Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder

    Bledsoe, Jerry: Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder
    If you ever get the feeling that you have some insanity running in your family, read this book. This family (at least some of the members) are dangerously nutty. I liked this true crime story a lot, even though it's long (more than 600 pages) and the author goes into great detail regarding each character's past life and the history of places and things. (****)

  • Krueger, William Kent: Heaven's Keep: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series)

    Krueger, William Kent: Heaven's Keep: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series)
    Intrepid hero Cork O’Connor faces the most harrowing mission of his life when a charter plane carrying his wife goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies. (***)

  • Sager, Riley: The Only One Left: A Novel

    Sager, Riley: The Only One Left: A Novel
    The Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion, no in danger of plunging into the sea below, where the massacre occurred. Very twisty ending. (****)

  • Hufford, Deborah: Blood to Rubies

    Hufford, Deborah: Blood to Rubies
    The best book I've read this year, it follows the life of Chief Joseph of the Perce New as he and his people fight to save their land in the Pacific Northwest. A large cast of other characters flesh this story out and make it one you'll remember for a long time. It's very sad, especially the end, so keep the tissues handy. (****)

  • Modglin, Kiersten: Do Not Open

    Modglin, Kiersten: Do Not Open
    Stephen King fans will not doubt be reminded of. MISERY when reading this book. Another author, this one with a troubled life and writer's blocks, comes in contact with her "number one fan," with terrifying results. (****)

  • Valerie Fraser Luesse: Almost Home: A Novel

    Valerie Fraser Luesse: Almost Home: A Novel
    The Great Depression hasn't quite left Blackberry Springs, Alabama at the beginning of WWII. Dollly finds she must turn the home that has been in her family for several generations into a boarding house. The people who rent her rooms become to her land her husband (and to the roomers) family. This is a wonderful book. (****)

  • Blakemore, A.K.: The Glutton: A Novel

    Blakemore, A.K.: The Glutton: A Novel
    Ever known anyone who could "eat anything?" Not like this guy, I bet you haven't. 1798, France.A Versailles hospital where a young nun has been tasked with sitting with the patient who must always be watched. The man is dying: they say he ate a golden fork, and that it’s killing him from the inside. But that’s not all—he is rumored to have done monstrous things in his attempts to sate an insatiable appetite…an appetite they say tortures him still. Sort of a yucky book, but very interesting. (***)

  • Alam, Rumaan: Leave the World Behind

    Alam, Rumaan: Leave the World Behind
    What could happen when catastrophe causes our culture, our world, to start crumbling? Who knows what the catastrophe is? This book never tells, nor does the Netflix movie based on it. But it's still darn scary. One of my faves for the year. (****)

  • Medoff, Jillian: When We Were Bright and Beautiful: A Novel

    Medoff, Jillian: When We Were Bright and Beautiful: A Novel
    When Billy Quinn, a junior at Princeton, is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, his rushes home to Manhattan to join forces with her brothers and parents to support and defend Billy. The Quinns scramble to hire the best legal minds money can buy, but Billy fits the all-too-familiar sex-offender profile—white, athletic, and privileged—that makes headlines and sways juries. (****)

  • Quinn, Kate: The Rose Code: A Novel

    Quinn, Kate: The Rose Code: A Novel
    1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. To me, this book was too long (650 pages) for the subject it covered, and there was too many characters and too much description of decoding machines. There were good moments and good characters, but the story was just to drawn out. It gets good reviews though, and everyone else in my book club loved it. So you might too. (***)

  • Carmen, Christa: The Daughters of Block Island: A Novel

    Carmen, Christa: The Daughters of Block Island: A Novel
    White Hall, the huge old home on an isolated island, would seem to be a perfect setting for a gothic haunted house story, which was promised. And there were a couple of hints at haunting in the beginning. But it turns out they were nothing more than evil plots of angry, evil men. I wasn't impressed. (**)

  • Ramsay, Danielle: The Perfect Husband

    Ramsay, Danielle: The Perfect Husband
    Sophie's wedding day was perfect; she was marrying the love of her life, the perfect husband. But she could barely recognize the man she was spending her wedding night with. He had changed in the blink of an eye, from the kind, attentive man she had married just hours before to a belligerent monster. Was Sophie's wedding-night trip to the emergency room with a broken wrist a picture of things to come? (***)

  • Shari Low: One Moment in Time

    Shari Low: One Moment in Time
    Zara's parents' 30th anniversary is coming up, and Zara and her sister have planned an elaborate surprise trip to celebrate. The family will fly to Las Vegas where the festivities will take place. But none of the details of the trip have been revealedl to Mom and Dad. They're in for some surprises. And so are their two daughters. (***)

  • Hepworth, Sally: The Soulmate: A Novel

    Hepworth, Sally: The Soulmate: A Novel
    Pippa and Gabe live in a cozy home in a small coastal town with their two little girls, "Irish twins," born just six months apart.. Their house is steps away from a precarious cliff, famous for people coming there to jump and commit suicide. But Gabe has a talent of talking people down. Not one person has made a successful jump at the cliff since Gabe has lived there. Until somebody does. And thus begin the secrets. Good book. (****)

  • Stephen Coonts: Saucer: Saucer, Book 1

    Stephen Coonts: Saucer: Saucer, Book 1
    This book was very good at the beginning and at the end. But most of the middle was, to me, very boring. A bunch of people fighting over who owns the flying saucer, found confined in a rock in the Sahara. Then three of the characters flying the saucer around--like that would really happen. So I give the first 1/4 and the last 1/4 four stars, and the middle half 2 stars. (***)

  • Jackson, Joshilyn: With My Little Eye: A Novel

    Jackson, Joshilyn: With My Little Eye: A Novel
    This is not this author's best book. For one thing, the characters' vocabularies are unintelligible. One assumes this is supposed to be how the people of L.A. and Atlanta talk. Also not one of the characters in this book is very likable. There's this actress woman who can't make up her mind among three men who she wants to be with. To add to her confusion, any one of them (or maybe none of them) is the threatening stalker who has followed her across the country. There's another woman, and both women have daughters; and then there's another teenager who's homeless, and there's a dog. And it's all a bit of a fish mash. (***)

  • Olsen, Gregg: I Know Where You Live

    Olsen, Gregg: I Know Where You Live
    Violet's family is a hot mess. Sexual predation, incest, and murder are their pastimes. And those who don't participate in these crimes lie and protect the ones who do. This could be a disturbing book for some. (***)

  • Ellison, J.T.: It's One of Us: A Novel of Suspense

    Ellison, J.T.: It's One of Us: A Novel of Suspense
    Imagine you and your husband have been trying for several years for a baby with no success. Then, unbeknownst to you (or to him) you find that he has dozen of children as a result of a sperm donation. And one of them is a killer. That's the story. (***)

  • Cronin, Justin: The Ferryman: A Novel

    Cronin, Justin: The Ferryman: A Novel
    I chose this book to read based on a very good reviews by Stephen King and Andy Weir. And it is a good book. Very good. But I confess I had a bit of a problem keeping up with where the characters were and in what time frame and in what state of consciousness. I'm still not sure I understand the whole thing. But it is a supremely well written apocalyptic tale. (****)

  • Getson, D.S.: Earl, Honey

    Getson, D.S.: Earl, Honey
    Ever since Pa hit him in the head with the two-by-four, Earl Hahn has been slow, the last one to catch on to things. It takes him longer to make the connections others arrive at easily. When his father is prosecuted for the crime of incest, it feels like deliverance for Earl, his mother Lizzie Belle, and the entire Hahn family. Unfortunately, his father’s abhorrent actions are not done exacting a price. Everyone in the household will pay for their patriarch’s crimes – no one more than Earl. (****)

  • Hannah, Kristin: Magic Hour: A Novel

    Hannah, Kristin: Magic Hour: A Novel
    What else can you expect from Kristin Hannah but a wonderful story That's certainly what you get here, one of the two or three best books I've read this year. It takes place in the rugged Pacific Northwest. From deep within the darkness of the Olympic National Forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she offers no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past. Had a hard time putting this one down. (*****)

  • Grant, Cathryn: The Woman In the Mirror: A Psychological Suspense Novel (Alexandra Mallory Book 1)

    Grant, Cathryn: The Woman In the Mirror: A Psychological Suspense Novel (Alexandra Mallory Book 1)
    A precarious cliff-top bungalow, a man searching for peace, a pathological liar, and an alluring sociopath, what could go wrong? Plenty. (****)

  • Markin, Wes: One Last Prayer

    Markin, Wes: One Last Prayer
    A small town in the grip of a destructive snowstorm, a missing boy, a deranged family whose history is steeped in violence, and a relentless detective combine for a chilling and absorbing thriller. (****)

  • Mullen, O. J.: Three Sisters

    Mullen, O. J.: Three Sisters
    When Lewis Stone meets the Kennedy sisters, a train of events begins that engulfs them all. One sister is left fighting for her life. One sister is left fighting for her marriage. And one sister is hellbent on revenge. Thrills and chills. (****)

  • Haines, Carolyn: Tell-Tale Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

    Haines, Carolyn: Tell-Tale Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
    This time, Sarah Booth and Tinkie are sleuthing to find the whereabouts of two women who have been missing for six years. Of course, they are joined by Sarah Booth's two furry partners, Sweetie Pie the dog and Pluto the curious cat. And from time to time, Tinkie's little dog Chablis. And hat would a Sarah Booth Delaney mystery be without some appearances by Kitty the ghost--this time dressed as Edgar Allen Poe characters, including the author himself. (***)

  • Napolitano, Ann: Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

    Napolitano, Ann: Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel
    I think of this book as a modern adult version of Little Women--sort of. It's a beautiful story. And especially if one has sisters, which I do) it will touch your heart. Keep the Kleenex box handy, especially for the last few chapters. (****)

  • Nugent, Liz: Strange Sally Diamond

    Nugent, Liz: Strange Sally Diamond
    Reclusive Sally Diamond causes outrage by trying to incinerate her dead father. Now she’s the center of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she does not remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her early childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say. (****)

  • Lehane, Dennis: Small Mercies: A Novel

    Lehane, Dennis: Small Mercies: A Novel
    Takes place during the school bussing riots in Boston in 1974. The author squeezes in a Boston crime family as a big part of this story. Riveting plot, but the racism is hard to take. But I'm sure it's based on reality. After all I grew up near Birmingham, Alabama, and lived through racism, segregation, and race riots there. (****)

  • Walls, Jeannette: Hang the Moon

    Walls, Jeannette: Hang the Moon
    Set in the Appalachian area of Virginia during Prohibition, Duke Kincaid runs the county and sets the laws. Moonshining and rum running support the county's economy. Duke's 19-year-old daughter Sallie inherits her father's dynasty after he and her older siblings die. This is a good book, but I have to confess it's a little hard to keep up with who fathered (and mothered) whom. Seems like every time you turn a page, someone is sleeping with someone else they shouldn't have. (****)

  • Cannon, J.M.: Blood Oranges: A Pulse-Pounding New Thriller Packed With Twists

    Cannon, J.M.: Blood Oranges: A Pulse-Pounding New Thriller Packed With Twists
    I love a good thriller; and dang! is this ever a good thriller! I didn't much like the ending, but up until that point, it was amazing. (****)

  • Quay Tyson, Tiffany: The Past Is Never: A Novel

    Quay Tyson, Tiffany: The Past Is Never: A Novel
    If you're a fan of southern gothic literature (or even if you aren't) you might love this book. I did. It's the best book I've read this year and one of the best I've read ever. (****)

  • Jackson, Jenny: Pineapple Street: A Novel

    Jackson, Jenny: Pineapple Street: A Novel
    This book has no discernible plot whatsoever. It reads like a soap opera--various events in the lives of the old-money, Brooklyn Heights family. That said, I was pulled into the events of their lives immediately. Nothing memorable about this book--just a fairly entertaining narrative. (***)

  • Deangelis, Camille: Bones & All

    Deangelis, Camille: Bones & All
    Although the author did a good job with her narrative, her premise was just stupid in my opinion. Every major character in this book (and some of the minor ones) are cannibals. We're not talking Jeffrey Dahmer types here, where the cannibals prepare their meals piecemeal, as it were, and keep them in the refrigerator. Oh no. These guys and gals somehow take their victims down with no weapons involved and finish them off (bones and all) in minutes. Except this one dude who claims he doesn't eat anyone who isn't already dead. One of the few good things I can say about this book is that we don't have to watch the victims being consumed, to we don't know how these horrors are completed in such a short time. It's also a movie on Amazon Prime; you can rent it for $5.29. I think I'll save my money for something that obeys the suspension of disbelief rule. Pooh on this ridiculous book. (*)

  • Hendrix, Grady: Horrorstor: A Novel

    Hendrix, Grady: Horrorstor: A Novel
    Imagine an IKEA built over an ancient prison site. You just know it's going to be haunted. It is. Not Grady's best effort, but not bad. (***)

  • Audrain, Ashley: The Push: A Novel

    Audrain, Ashley: The Push: A Novel
    Whee doggies! What a book! I read this one in two late-night sessions. Another "bad seed" plot--or is it?. You have to wait until the very last sentence to know for sure. From an online review: "It’s a story about the most life-changing and literal “push” that is childbirth, and the more figurative “push” that society places on women to have children." But it's so much more. Most reviewers say that it might be too raw and intense for new or expectant mothers. (****)

  • Follett, Ken: Never: A Novel

    Follett, Ken: Never: A Novel
    If you tell me that Ken Follett is an amazing writer, you'll get no argument from me. But if you say, as Stephen King has, that Follett "can't write a bad book," I'll beg to differ. I'm only halfway through this 800-plus-page tome, but so far it's one of the most tedious and pointless books I've ever tried to read. I say "tried" because I'm not sure I'll make it through the next 400 pages. I'll give it another chapter or two to get better, then I'm moving on if it doesn't. (*)

  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: The Yellow Wallpaper

    Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: The Yellow Wallpaper
    This short story was first published in1892 by American write Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's health, both physical and mental. But to me its just a good old scary story and reminds me a lot of the work of more recent writers like Shirley Jackson and even Stephen King. Good story. (****)

  • Frazier, Charles: The Trackers: A Novel

    Frazier, Charles: The Trackers: A Novel
    Painter Val Welch travels westward to the rural town of Dawes, Wyoming where he has landed a New Deal assignment to create a mural representing the region for their new Post Office. Wealthy art lover John Long and his wife Eve have agreed to host Val at their sprawling ranch. When Long's wife disappears, he offers John a tempting sum of money to travel the country searching for her. Every Charles Frazier book since COLD MOUNTAIN has disappointed me, and this one is no exception. None of them measures up to that wonderful novel. (***)

  • Green, S. E.: The Family

    Green, S. E.: The Family
    This is a story about a young girl who is dissatisfied with homelife with her single mom and goes to live with her father in what she believes to be a commune where everyone is equal and nobody is the leader. She soon finds out that this is a cult and her own father is the leader, a harsh and authoritative leader. (***)

  • Green, S. E.: The Third Son

    Green, S. E.: The Third Son
    As he is in the process of building a family with his wife of two years and her two young sons, architect Carter Grady learns that a one night stand of which he'd been a part years ago had produced Carter's biological son. The boy's mother has died, leaving him an orphan. Carter has the option of taking the boy to raise or letting him go into the foster system. Of course, As far as Carter is concerned, there's no decision to be made: of course, he'll bring the boy to live with him and his family. Problem #1: he has to tell the family about the boy. Problem #2: there's something definitely wrong with the kid. This is a darn good book. (****)

  • Sottile, Leah: When the Moon Turns to Blood: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and a Story of Murder, Wild Faith, and End Times

    Sottile, Leah: When the Moon Turns to Blood: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and a Story of Murder, Wild Faith, and End Times
    Lori Vallow and her husband, grave digger turned doomsday novelist, Chad Daybell (as well as just about everyone else in this book) are members of the Mormon Church. But I hope that nobody reads it as a statement against Mormons. I know a few Mormons who are not serial killers nor enablers of them. That said, Lori and Chad are psycho killers of the worst kind. This book was hard to get through, not only because of Lori and Chad's hideous crimes but also because the author spends by far more time talking about the history and makeup of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I suppose she thought the reader could only. know the killers by know about their church. But I don't think so. The two were just nuts. They would have, in my opinion, done the same thing had they been Baptists, Catholics, Jews, atheists, etc. I didn't care for this book. (**)

  • Picoult, Jodi: Mad Honey: A Novel

    Picoult, Jodi: Mad Honey: A Novel
    Is a son likely to inherit a father's violent tendencies? Did Ash do what he's accused of doing? Is everybody in this book who/what they appear to be. You'll have to read it and find out. Just be assured that Jody Picoult and her co-author Jennifer Finney Boylan hit one out of the park with this great book that tackles in an exciting but sensitive way one of the controversies of our times. And gives a lot of interesting fat-de-rol about bees and beekeeping too. (****)

  • Hoover, Colleen: Verity

    Hoover, Colleen: Verity
    This is an excellent fast-paced thriller with lots of suspense. But the end doesn't wrap things up. But I didn't like the ending at all. One big bad unfleshed toilet. (FYI, and unfleshed toilet is what a college prof of mine called situations in stories that are left hanging with non clear solution.) (****)

  • Prince Harry: Spare

    Prince Harry: Spare
    After reading this book, I fully understand why Harry and Megan fled Britain and the Palace crap. It should be a crime the way this young couple was treated not only by the British media but also by Harry's own family. Enough said. You'll just have to read it for yourself and decide. And you should. (****)

  • Stevenson, Benjamin: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Novel

    Stevenson, Benjamin: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Novel
    After I got a little comfortable with the manner in which Australian talk (and write),, I really liked this book. Even so, there were some sentences that I have no idea what they said. Lots of characters introduced all at once at the very beginning, which I think was a problem. But there's a great snow and ice storm during which the suspense and some murders take place. So all-in-all, it's a good one. (****)

  • Hart, Josephine: Damage: A Novel

    Hart, Josephine: Damage: A Novel
    Damage is the gripping story of a man’s desperate obsession and love affair with his son's fiancee. This was a disturbing book to me, but an even more disturbing movie (Netflix). Still it was well written and exciting but still disturbing. (****)

  • Kepnes, Caroline: You: A Novel

    Kepnes, Caroline: You: A Novel
    When a beautiful Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card--and Beck now has a stalker on her hands. This is a good boo if you like thrillers. Stephen King calls it hypnotic and scary--and I agree. It's also a Netflix series, but I haven't checked that out yet. (****)

  • Unger, Lisa: Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six: A Novel of Thrilling Suspense

    Unger, Lisa: Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six: A Novel of Thrilling Suspense
    Take a secluded luxury cabin with a dark history, three couples looking forward to a relaxing weekend, a horrendous storm, and a mysterious and dangerous something or somebody hanging around in the dark and what do you got? A spine-tingling thriller. (***)

  • Hendrix, Grady: We Sold Our Souls: A Novel

    Hendrix, Grady: We Sold Our Souls: A Novel
    If scary stories upset you, I advise against reading this book. It's scary as heck. That said, it's also a gripping story that hooked me right away. I'm not a fan of heavy metal music, but that didn't bother me. Grady Hendrix is an excellent spinner of thrilling stories. His prose is so well crafted and in places almost poetic. One of the best craftsmen writing thrillers today, IMO. (****)

  • St. James, Simone: The Broken Girls

    St. James, Simone: The Broken Girls
    Vermont 1950. Idlewild is a school for girls that nobody wants. Four of these girls become roommates and fast friends. Jump to 2014. The school has been closed for decades. Nobody lives there anymore except the ghost of Mary Hand. A young journalist and enters the scene to solve the mystery of her murdered sister whose body was found on the school property. A haunting and sometimes sad story. (****)

  • Connelly, Michael: The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel, 1)

    Connelly, Michael: The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel, 1)
    Maverick homicide detective Harry Bosch lives in a stilt house in The Hollywood Hills, which he bought with the proceeds from a book and a tv show that he leant his name to. When a body is discovered in a drain pipe at the Mulholland Dam, the case becomes personal for Harry. It won't be the only body to show up in this, Connelly's first book in his Harry Bosch series. And you'll wonder if Harry, who never met a rule he wouldn't break, might be lucky to come out of it unscathed. I love Harry Bosch, the books and the tv show. (****)

  • Kurian, Vera: Never Saw Me Coming: A Novel

    Kurian, Vera: Never Saw Me Coming: A Novel
    Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study of psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. Somebody is murdering the seven--one by one. Chloe holds a murderous grudge against a male student who is not in the study, whom she knows from pre-college times. (***)

  • Rose, Jeneva: The Perfect Marriage: a completely gripping psychological suspense

    Rose, Jeneva: The Perfect Marriage: a completely gripping psychological suspense
    The wife is a successful attorney; the husband is a struggling stay-at-home writer. And then there's the mistress who has had other affairs and relationships. Whoever designed the cover of this book was correct in crossing out the word "perfect." This is a whodunit mystery that kept me reading and guessing throughout. (****)

  • Haines, Carolyn: Booty Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

    Haines, Carolyn: Booty Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
    When Sarah Booth and her critters accompany her fiancé on a Gulf getaway, they encounter all kinds of trouble including a hurricane, a theft, a murder, and romantic heartache. If you're a fan of cozy mysteries and haven't yet met private detective Sarah Booth Delaney and friends, you should really check her out. I love these books. You can find her on Amazon.com. (****)

  • Prose, Nita: The Maid: A Novel

    Prose, Nita: The Maid: A Novel
    Molly the Maid is not like everyone else. She doesn't always understand others, and she's quite lacking in social skills. Molly lives alone in her Gran's house, where she has lived all her life. Gran has recently passed, and Molly feels the loss deeply. She works at a luxury hotel, cleaning guest rooms and 'returning them to perfection." When she finds a wealthy guest dead in his bed, Molly's uneventful but orderly life is upended and she is faced with challenges she's not ready to handle. Or is she? (****)

  • Albanese, Laurie Lico: Hester: A Novel

    Albanese, Laurie Lico: Hester: A Novel
    Hester is the main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel THE SCARLET LETTER. This book is not about her. It's about Isobel Gambel, who sails from Scotland to the New World with her husband Edward. After Edward sails away to seek his fortune, Isobel meets and falls in love with young Nathaniel Hawthorne. They have an affair. For fear of letting too many cats out of the bag, I'll say no more. (***)

  • Hendrix, Grady: The Final Girl Support Group

    Hendrix, Grady: The Final Girl Support Group
    Not his best book, IMO. In horror movies, the "final girl" is the last one left standing after all the slashing is done. Lynnette Tarkington is a final girl and a member of the support group, the members of which find that their horror is not yet over. (***)

  • Winman, Sarah: Still Life

    Winman, Sarah: Still Life
    1944 Tuscany. A young soldier, a precocious little girl, an art historian named Evelyn, and a surprisingly communicative parrot name Claude are just a few of the many characters in this novel. It has received glowing reviews for it's "beautiful prose, extraordinary tenderness, and bursts of humor and light." Sad to say, I found most of it quite boring and hard to read. I did like the bird and the little girl though. This is the March selection for my book club. (**)

  • Feeney, Alice: Rock Paper Scissors

    Feeney, Alice: Rock Paper Scissors
    Screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can't recognize friends or family, or even his own wife. Every anniversary the couple exchanges traditional gifts—paper, cotton, pottery, tin—and each year Adam's wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget. (****)

  • Nethercott, GennaRose: Thistlefoot: A Novel

    Nethercott, GennaRose: Thistlefoot: A Novel
    The Yaga siblings inherit a house--but this is no ordinary house. It has legs and feet and is mobile. Thistlefoot, as the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas’ ancestral home outside Kyiv—but not alone. A sinister figure known only as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him violent secrets from the past: fiery memories that have hidden in Isaac and Bellatine’s blood for generations. As the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on a final cross-country tour of their family’s traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. (****)

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Friday, September 07, 2007

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