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Bobbewig (New Jersey, USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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The Lady From Zagreb: Bernie Gunther Thriller 10
The Lady From Zagreb: Bernie Gunther Thriller 10
by Philip Kerr
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 1/2 Stars -- Meh!, 11 July 2015
The Lady from Zagreb is Philip Kerr's sixth book in the Bernie Gunther series I've read and the second consecutive one in which I've been disappointed. Overall, I don't consider it to be a bad book, but The Lady from Zagreb is definitely not what I consider to be a very good book; and so, it is not one I'd recommend you rush out to read.

Without going into detail about the plot, The Lady From Zagreb involves Gunther on an assignment for Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Truth and Propaganda, which takes him from Berlin to Zurich to Zagreb and beyond and involves a beautiful young German actress.

My disappointment in this book stems primarily from its not having a sufficient amount of suspense, surprises and thrills to sustain its 415 page length (in the advance copy I read), and the excitement that did occur was too little, too late. Too often I found myself skimming through passages of this book hoping to get to some parts that would maintain my interest and keep "my eyes glued to the page."

To Kerr's credit, he maintains his well-deserved reputation for well-developed characterizations and extensive research; as well as for his ability to create such a rich sense of time and place that I felt I was right there in the thick of things experiencing life in these times. However, unless Kerr gets back to incorporating these strengths into a thrilling story -- which, after all, is why I enjoy reading thrillers, I will not, in all likelihood, be traveling with Bernie on his future experiences.

I hope this review gives you some "food for thought" in regards to helping you decide if The Lady from Zagreb is a book for you.

Ruins of War : A Novel (Mason Collins Novel)
Ruins of War : A Novel (Mason Collins Novel)
by John Connell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Debut From An Author Having The Potential To Be Very Good!, 11 July 2015
Ruins Of War, which takes place in Munich in 1945 involves Mason Collins -- a former Chicago homicide detective and prisoner of war and now a U.S. Army criminal investigator -- in a search for a random serial killer. Or is it that the killer is stalking Collins?

Overall, I found Ruins Of War's plot maintained my interest from beginning to end, and was one that was suspenseful with a good amount of twists and turns ALMOST to the end. I say ALMOST because, despite the various plot twists throughout the first two-thirds of the book, I was a bit disappointed in how easy it was for to guess its outcome from this point on. For me, I was expecting more from the ending, and did not expect it was going to be as predictable as it was.

For a first-time novelist, Connell does a very good job in creating pretty well-developed characters and in providing a decent historical perspective of war-torn Munich in 1945. However, in my opinion, Connell was a bit uneven in describing the setting because while I knew the time period was supposed to be 1945, I, at times, felt that Connell's narrative and dialogue were a bit "too today" for 1945.

Despite my criticisms, which I do not consider to be major flaws, Ruins Of War is book I consider to be worth reading and Connell is a writer I feel has a lot of potential. I, for you, will be ready to go along with Mason Collins on his next investigation.

Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1
Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1
by M. J. Arlidge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worthy Of Your Consideration!, 27 Jun. 2015
Eeny Meeny marks the fictional debut in the U.S. of a detective series by M.J. Arlidge that is already a hit in Great Britain. I won't get into describing its plot as this can be read about in the brief Book Description above; but mainly because this is one of those books that the less you know when you first start it, the more engrossed and surprised you'll be the more you read into it. However, to possibly pique your interest in considering Eeeny Meeny, I will say this about it:

...It is a page-turner that you'll find difficult to put down once you start it
...It's written in a style and has the intensity that in many ways will likely remind you of James Patterson's Along Came A Spider
...Its plot is one of the more darkly engrossing ones that I've come across in my reading of many, many thrillers and mysteries, and is filled with lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing from beginning to end
...Its main character, Detective Inspector Helen Grace, is one of the more psychologically well-developed characters in a series that I've come across in a long time. As you'll learn, her background isn't that much less twisted and damaged than the killers she tries to capture.

Perhaps not surprising in a series debut, Arlidge isn't flawless in Eeny Meeny but these flaws are quite minor and not worthy of mentioning, as they do not detract from your enjoyment of this fast-paced, mystery that will likely have you on the edge of your seat. As for me, I enjoyed Eeny Meeny enough that I've already signed on to go along with Helen Grace on her next two cases by buying the next two books in the series --Pop Goes The Weasel and The Doll's House.

To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!, 25 Jun. 2015
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Paperback)
Over 50 years ago I read Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, which I've considered to be one of my favorite books of all time with its highly memorable cast of fictional characters. Recently, I decided to read this book again prior to reading Lee's "new" book, Go Set A Watchman, which comes out in mid-July -- although I have to admit I was a little concerned that it might not live up to the great memories I have of it. My concern was totally unfounded. To Kill A Mockingbird stands the test of time -- as do all classics; and, in my opinion, To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic.

As many of you know, To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming-of-age novel that takes place during a three-year period during the 1930's in a small rural town in Alabama and follows the lives of its main characters -- Scout, her brother, Jem, and their father Atticus. Central to the plot is the arrest and trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman and Atticus Finch's defense of the black man.

For me, To Kill A Mockingbird continues to be one of the most compassionate, funny, wise and, at times, heartbreaking books I have ever read, as it explores such key themes as race, class, justice and the challenges of growing up.

I hope this review helps to motivate you to read To Kill A Mockingbird or to re-read it, as I did. I know you'll be glad you did!

The Fixer
The Fixer
by Joseph Finder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Book From Finder!, 18 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Fixer (Hardcover)
Having read all twelve of Joseph Finder's books, the only question I have prior to starting one of his books is HOW good will it be; it has never been a question of WILL it be good. Regarding The Fixer, my answer is that it is a fast-moving, entertaining book and it continues to reinforce my opinion of Finder as one of the best of the best of today's thriller writers. One could say that this book by Finder is a keeper! Sorry, I just couldn't resist that!

I won't provide a detailed plot description, as this can be gotten from the Amazon Book Description above and from other reader reviews. I'll just state a bit of what is said in the inside jacket cover...The Fixer "is a stand-alone thriller about the secrets families can keep, and the danger of their discovery."

Although The Fixer is positioned by the publisher as a thriller, I consider it to be more of a mystery than a thriller. The reasons for this is that I found the book more of an investigation by the main character of why the money he found in his father's house was hidden for many years, and into why his father felt the need to hide it. This made for an interesting and fun page-turner for me with pretty well-developed (but not particularly likable) characters. Further, I think The Fixer is a book that most of Finder's army of fans will enjoy.

That being said, if it important to get an opinion of how The Fixer compares to Finder's eleven other novels (all of which, as mentioned, I enjoyed and would recommend), my opinion is that The Fixer would fall in the second tier of his books. My reasons for this are that The Fixer isn't AS intense of many of Finder's other books, nor does it provide AS MANY twists and turns with lots of suspenseful surprises -- particularly in comparison to his corporate espionage books.

I hope this is helpful in helping to decide if The Fixer is a book for you.

The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars -- Hawkins Takes You On Quite A Train Ride With Her Psychological Thriller!, 31 May 2015
This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
In a nutshell, The Girl On The Train is a psychological thriller that I think you'll find to be well worth your investment in time and money!

I won't spend time describing its plot, as this has been done quite well in the Amazon Book Description above as well as in many reader reviews. Besides, this is the type of book, similar to Gone Girl, that the less you know at the time you start the book, the more enjoyable it will likely be for you once you get into it. As a matter of fact, I think if you were reading this book when you were on a train, you might be so engrossed in it that there would be a good chance that you'll miss your stop.

Although I was a bit confused at the beginning of The Girl On A Train by Hawkins' style of using intersecting timelines and quickly moving from one character's narrative to another, it didn't take long for me to not only get used to this style but to become engrossed with it. Also, to Hawkins' credit, while I didn't come to like any of the three key female characters as well as the two primary male characters, I found myself quickly turning the pages to find out what happens next with each of them.

As mentioned above, I don't want to go into any detail about how and why these characters lives are intertwined in order to avoid spoiling anything for you, I will say, however, that similar to Gone Girl, The Girl On The Train has an above average share of twists and turns and an ending that, while not totally unpredictable, I will think you'll find to be satisfying.

Paula Hawkins deserves the vast amount of praise she's gotten with her debut in fiction writing with The Girl On The Train, and I will be looking forward to her next book.

Independence Day: A Dewey Andreas Novel
Independence Day: A Dewey Andreas Novel
by Ben Coes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining And Captivating But Among The Least Pulse-Pounding Of The Five Dewey Andreas Books!, 28 May 2015
I won't spend your time here having you read a summary of the book's plot, which can be obtained in the Amazon Book Description, other than to say that it involves a high-level Russian hacker who intends to make good on past transgressions by sending a nuclear warhead en route to America's eastern seaboard in time for July 4th.

What I want to say that I hope will be important in helping to decide if this book is for you is that Independence Day is a page-turner from beginning to end and is an entertaining and captivating thriller. On a comparative basis, it is as well done as all four of the other books featuring Dewey Andreas in terms of delivering a torn-from-the-headlines plot, credible and well-developed characters, and steadily building suspense. Where it differs for me from Power Down, Coup-D'Etat and Eye For An Eye is that it doesn't provide the same intense level of pulse-pounding action and surprises. This is not to say that Independence Day isn't, in its own right, exciting and surprising. It is, just not as much. Based on the three books just mentioned, Coes has led me expect his books to conclude with a Big Bang; and so, I was expecting the same from Independence Day. Instead, while the ending is a satisfying one, it wasn't as dramatic as I'd been expecting; which is why I felt it to be less thrilling (but it was as thrilling for me as The Last Refuge). Regardless of these comparative differences, I, once again, am ready to volunteer to go all-out with Dewey Andreas on his next mission, despite the potential danger to those associated with Dewey.

I'd recommend Independence Day to anyone who enjoys a heavily plot driven thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. While Independence Day can be fully enjoyed without having read the other books in this series, it would probably be a good idea to read at least the first two books in sequence or to at least read Coup D'Etat first.

Palace of Treason
Palace of Treason
by Jason Matthews
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars -- As With Red Sparrow, Palace Of Treason Is Definitely Worth Reading But You'll Need To Be Patient With It!, 28 May 2015
This review is from: Palace of Treason (Hardcover)
I am an avid reader of thrillers, particularly espionage thrillers, and enjoyed Red Sparrow very much. So, I figured that Palace Of Treason would be "right up my alley." However, Palace Of Treason's slow pace during the first hundred pages kept me undecided as to whether I was liking it as much as Red Sparrow, or even if I was going to like it at all. This is because it took me awhile to get used to the fact that it wasn't going to be a book filled with lots of physical action -- e.g., fist fights, gun fights, killings, dramatic car chases, etc.-- that I've come to expect from books of this type.

Soon after, however, I realized that Palace Of Treason is an espionage thriller that is several notches above the typical book in this genre, and was every bit as good as Red Sparrow. It is filled with many fully dimensional, credible characters and location descriptions that make you feel that you are there experiencing all of the deceptions, schemes, and double crosses involving the various CIA and Russian intelligence agents and politicians. Further, it becomes quickly obvious that two-time author and former CIA operative, Jason Matthews, really knows his subject matter, as Palace Of Treason is filled with an abundance of information about the inner workings within both the U.S. and Russian intelligence organizations that is not only interesting, it serves to create an atmosphere that keeps the reader shaking his/her head in wonder.

As if this isn't enough to entice you to read Palace Of Treason, perhaps the following facts will convince you to do so: (1) two of its main characters, CIA agent Nathaniel Nash and Russian agent Dominika Egorova, will stay in your mind long after finishing the book; and (2) its plot is filled with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing as to what happens next.

Highly recommended to those thriller readers willing to be patient enough to finish a book that will ultimately make them consider Palace Of Treason to be among the better thrillers they are likely to read this year.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2015 9:34 PM BST

Kitty Genovese - The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America
Kitty Genovese - The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America
by Kevin Cook
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read Of A Murder That Very Likely Could Have Been Prevented!, 28 May 2015
As an 18 year-old living in a neighborhood only about a 5-minute car ride from the scene in which Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered, I remember being astounded by reports of how this murder occurred while several of her neighbors heard her early morning screams for help, and others observed the attack from their apartment windows as it was occurring, with almost no one making any attempt to come to this young woman's aid -- even to bother calling the police to report the crime. This murder became the basis for what has come to be referred to as "the bystander syndrome," in which no one wants to get personally involved, and leaves it up to someone else to do "the right thing." The Kitty Genovese case has lived in my memory to this day, and so when I became aware of this book by Kevin Cook, I read it before any of the other books on my mountain-sized TBR list.

My decision to do this was a good one, as Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America is a book that is well worth reading, and is one that I'd highly recommend.

In this compelling true-crime story, Cook provides vivid background for both Kitty and her murderer, leading up to the night the two of them met on the street and Kitty was killed. Cook then writes in a hard-to-put down style about the aftermath that includes the murderer's (Winston Moseley's) trial, conviction, escape, and return to prison. The author also details in an unbiased way the sociological results of this event and how a newspaper story led to the common belief that thirty-eight people heard Kitty's cries for help and chose to ignore her. While I was already familiar with much of what comes out in this book, having sort of been a "student" of the crime and the events resulting from it, there are still several facts that are revealed in this book that never were revealed to the public at the time the crime was committed over 50 years ago.

Definitely worth your consideration!

LinkS 3-in-1 USB Sync & Charger Retractable Cable Designed for All iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, Bluetooth Headsets, BlackBerry (30pin + 8pin Lightning + MicroUSB (White)
LinkS 3-in-1 USB Sync & Charger Retractable Cable Designed for All iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, Bluetooth Headsets, BlackBerry (30pin + 8pin Lightning + MicroUSB (White)

4.0 out of 5 stars So Far Charges And Syncs Well...But Have Reservations About the Product's Long-term Performanr Some Retractor Issues!, 16 April 2015
In the few weeks I've tested this sample I received from the manufacturer in return for an honest review it has performed well every time I used it to charge and sync my various Apple mobile devices. However, from the get go I've had a problem with the retractor cable, in that I can't get one end of it to fully retract, which is somewhat disappointing. Also, while the product looks nice, I have some reservations about the product's long-term performance due to a concern that the retractor element will work even less effectively than it does now and due to a concern about the quality of some of its other parts.

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