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Mary Chrapliwy (NJ, USA)
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Swimsuit
Swimsuit
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some suspense, but mostly horror ..., 26 July 2009
This review is from: Swimsuit (Hardcover)
This was a book about an extermely horrific serial killer who is being pursued by a crime writer. It dose have some spellbinding moments when you really want to know what is going to happen next. It is a cat and mouse game with some horrific scenes sprinkled into the story that didn't actually help the story line at all - it was very nearly gratuitous at times. If you have a delicate stomach, you may want to skip this book.

This story was written in partnership with Maxine Paetro. It didn't rise to the standards I have seen in Patterson books in the past. It was written in short staccato chapers - 122 chapters in just 383 pages. The short chapters didn't enhance the story. In fact, many chapters didn't occur at natural breaks in action or shifts in point of view. They would actually break into the middle of some scenes.

On the whole, I could have lived quite happily without ever reading this book. I don't recommend it.


The Keep
The Keep
by F. Paul Wilson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb book from F. Paul Wilson...., 5 April 2009
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
I approached this book with some trepidation - I really don't like vampire fiction and I'm not a huge fan of horror. I am, however, a huge fan of F. Paul Wilson. So I decided to give this book a shot. I was not disappointed.

Wilson crafts a great tale of evil being killed by evil. In the midst of the frightening conflict there are innocent people - some with the strength of will to conquer evil. The plot synopsis that Amazon provides tells more than enough information, so I won't go on about plot.

This is a well written story. It was full of suspense. It isn't quite a gory as I thought it would be - I was relieved. It was a well crafted thriller with a satisfying ending. I highly recommend this book!


Spirit Fox (Daw Book Collectors)
Spirit Fox (Daw Book Collectors)
by Mickey Zucker Reichert
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent medieval fantasy..., 5 April 2009
I have fallen away from reading most fantasy for a while. When I pulled this off the shelf I had low expectations for it. Fortunately, it was quite a treat to read.

This book starts out with a well created medieval society that declares a lasting peace (referred to as the Devine Peace in this book). Now that lasting peace has come ot the land any form of war is outlawed. The healers are still allowed to use magic to heal the sick and at some periods, when a baby animal is born at the exact moment nearby when a human baby is born, their spirits are linked. I admit that at first I didn't take to the concept well. But I persevered and my perseverance was richly rewarded.

This is a well-told story of good and evil. The lines are blurred well so that some good become evil, while some evil become good. There is a satisfying detail that helps develop this into a truly fine fantasy novel. If you like a well told story, fantasy, swords, and sorcery you'll love this book. It has earned keeper status on my shelf.


Show No Fear (Nina Reilly)
Show No Fear (Nina Reilly)
by Perri O'Shaughnessy
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Perri O'Shaughnessy - won't be my last!, 17 Jan. 2009
I have never read a book by Perri O'Shaughnessy before, so this book was a great treat!

The story centers around a paralegal, law student, and single mom named Nina Reilly. She is drawn into a web of intrique, murder, and her own mother's malpractice case. The story starts with prologue about the murder of a woman by an unknown assailant. The book does go a little slow after that for the first quarter of the pages. After that the action begins to take off at lightening speed. I can only say one more thing - and trust me, it won't ruin anything for the reader - you will never in your wildest imaginings guess who the killer from the beginning of the book is.

This is stated as a prequel to other Nina Reilly stories. Take it from one who never read any other Nina Reilly stories - this one stands on its own very well as a stand alone novel. I highly recommend it.


Destiny Kills
Destiny Kills
by Keri Arthur
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only I knew..., 31 Dec. 2008
I bought this book and really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, it wasn't my type of book. That is not to say that it isn't well written and suspenseful - it's a good, solidly written story (that's why it merited 4 out of 5 stars). Unfortunately, it didn't quite fit the description released by the publisher. ...I wish the Amazon description and the publisher's description for this book included the information that the main characters are humans who shapeshift into dragons - I wouldn't have purchased the book. I'm not a big fan of shapeshifting fantasy stories. If you like paranormal romance with shapeshifting as a main focus, you'll like this story.


Through Violet Eyes
Through Violet Eyes
by Stephen Woodworth
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings..., 29 Dec. 2008
I have some very mixed feelings about this story, so this review is a difficult one to write.

This is a story about people born with violet eye color and the ability to communicate with the dead. A government organization helps them control their abilities from a very young age. Some are trained to communicate with the victims of violent crime to help give a voice to victims during their murderer's trials. It was an interesting concept taken a notch further with some sci-fi gadgetry. Then, the story begins to revolve around a plot by a serial killer to murder all the violet eyed people.

I almost stopped reading the book after the initial pages, but I persevered and ended up more than half way through the book. After debating whether to put it down and give it up again somewhere in the middle, I decided to push myself to finish it - I wanted to find out what happened.

With all that indecision, you would think that I would have given this review 2 or 3 stars. Ultimately the story was good enough to earn 4 stars. So why not 5? Well, there were some elements that were introduced that were never revisited and should have been - for example, the main character's mother was in a mental institution - we are left to guess why and then it is never mentioned again. Why include it at all? It seems that the author had planned to explore further, then forgot to. Ultimately, the story didn't tie up quite enough loose ends. It also had a highly unsatisfactory ending. So why did I give it 4 stars after all that - it was well written and gripping.

See, I said this was a mixed review. This book was entertaining, but not good enough to make my keeper shelf. It isn't a book I would ever choose to pick up and read again.


The Chosen (Rogue Angel)
The Chosen (Rogue Angel)
by Alex Archer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as much fun as the first three books, 26 Dec. 2008
In this continuation of the Rogue Angel series, Annja Creed is in New Mexico on a dig when she sees a frightening beast with red eyes and a shriek like a screaming woman. She also hears about sitings of Santo Nino - the Holy Child - warning people of impending disaster. Though the Holy Child theories are in this book, it is far more about the beasts in the story. A plot takes off when Annja and a Jesuit Priest (friend or foe?) must intervene. I won't say much more - I don't want to spoil the plot for readers.

By now, anyone who has been reading the Rogue Angel series knows that these books are written by multiple authors. This book cites contribution by Victor Milan (in other words, he's the author of this one). However, the last Victor Milan installment that I read was a little more action packed than this one. That's not to say that this one isn't full of adventure and action, it is, but it is just not to the intensity level of previous books. This volume spends a little more time discussing and educating than other books. This is a worthwhile installment, but not one for my keeper shelf.


Oxygen: A Novel
Oxygen: A Novel
by Carol Cassella
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive first novel, 30 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Oxygen: A Novel (Hardcover)
This writer clearly has the expertise to tackle this novel. She is a real anethesiologist. Given my own medical background, it was really refreshing to read a story about a medical professional without the inevitable, oh that would never happen moments, that you find with non-medical professionals who try to tell as story like this one and fall short.

Told in first person narrative you live the story with the main character. A child has died in the operating room. The anesthesiologist has the responsibility of keeping the patient's airway open, sedating just enough, then being able to ease them out of that sedation alive and well. Things don't go well one day in this novel. A child dies in Marie Heaton's OR. All of her training and professionalism hasn't really prepared her for the bumpy road that lies ahead. We live moment by moment as Marie struggles through the nightmare.

This is a well written literary novel. Cassella pulls off the first person narrative and makes it believable. Makes you feel her character's heartache.

So why only 4 stars? The first two chapters could have been left out - way too much day in the life stuff. Ultimately it stalls the story, which then has a little trouble getting off the ground. The other issue - it became overly long and plodding, going nowhere for a short time in the middle.

Still, I would recommend this book. Ultimately it is a very good quality, well written story that you will want to see to the very end.


Fortune's Daughter
Fortune's Daughter
by Alice Hoffman
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Alice Hoffman's lyrical prose, 24 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Fortune's Daughter (Paperback)
I have read nearly all of Alice Hoffman's books, so I admit that I'm an adamant fan. She writes in such descriptive prose that it could easily be converted to poetry. At this point, this is my favorite Alice Hoffman work.

This is a story about a 25 year old, Rae, and her reluctant 44 year old friend, Lila. Rae has wasted her life with a man who is self-centered and obnoxious. Now she is alone and pregnant. Rae meets Lila at a local restaurant, where she is telling people their fortune as seen in their tea leaves. She sees a terrifying fortune in Rae's cup. But is it really Rae's fortune that she sees? Thus begins the story of these two women.

The story is full of tragedy and triumph. It is written so beautifully that it's worthy reading for the prose alone. If you only read one Alice Hoffman book, this should be the one.


The Spider Stone (Rogue Angel)
The Spider Stone (Rogue Angel)
by Alex Archer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, edge of your seat read, 15 Nov. 2008
Okay, so if you've been following reviews of other Alex Archer Rogue Angel books, you will see that the fact that there are actually multiple authors under this pseudonym is widely discussed - when you sit down to read the books, you'll know that it's true.

I started by reading Destiny (Rogue Angel bk 1) - such a fabulously fun book that it is on my keeper shelf. It was well written and the character of Annja Creed became one of my favorite fiction characters. Then I moved on to read the second book in the series and immediately knew it had been written by someone else. It wasn't written as well and, though it was a great edge of your seat read, it just didn't measure up to the writing in the first book. Also, Annja's character was not as likeable or as noble as the Annja in the first book in the series.

Now I have finished the 3rd book in the series - The Spider Stone. I could tell immediately that this book had been written by the original author of Destiny. The original Annja character was back - and just as likeable as the original.

This story begins in the southern United States where Annja has been asked to come in and assist in a dig at a site that was once a part of the underground railroad. The dig nets a stone - the Spider Stone - with elaborate carvings on it. This leads Annja and her fellow archeologist to Africa to investigate the stone's origins. I don't want to say much more as it might spoil the story by giving too much away.

This book was well written and very well plotted. It kept me on the edge of my seat until it's thrilling conclusion. I highly recommend it.


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